Writers: Photo Essayists

Lesson plans for fourth grade to adult on photography, Freedom Riders, and African American history.

Lesson Plans



Using Historical Photographs

Understand how visual images contribute to our interpretation of people, places and events. Systematically analyze a photograph to gather data. Make inferences from photographic data. Research the subject of the photograph to justify inferences.

Grade Levels: 4-9



Analyzing the Evidence

Develop strategies for investigating history through the examination of artifacts and primary source documents. Explore documents online, then "curate" a photograph, document or artifact relevant to personal or family history.

Grade Level: 6-8



Every Picture Has a Story

Through the lessons, students will see that, while not every picture tells its own story, every picture has a story behind it. 

Grades 5-8



Photography Lesson Plans

17 various lesson plans with 21 resources

Grades: 9-12



Photography: Beyond the Snapshot.

What makes a photograph get your attention?The goal of this unit is to teach students to take a better photograph by paying close attention to the four main points of disturbance, proximity, sense of place and vantage point.

Grades: High School



Reading photographs

This lesson introduces students to the art of “reading” photographs, using key analytical questions and approaches.

Grade 9 through adult





Freedom Riders


Freedom Rider Curriculum

A comprehensive set of lesson plans and resources



Freedom Riders

Students will be able to explain the significance of the Freedom Rides and evaluate the success of the Freedom Rides and other protests of the civil rights movement.





African American History


Africans in America

The Teacher's Guide on the Web is an enhanced version of the print guidethat accompanies the Africans in America video series.



The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow

That Jim Crow was a tremendously important period in United States history is undisputable. Less obvious is how to properly address the violence, politics, and complexities that mark the era. In this section, Thirteen/WNET New York's Ed Online has provided Lesson Plans, Activities, and Resources for the classroom.



The Blues as African American History

This lesson enables teachers to use blues music to explore the history of African Americans in the 20th century. By studying the content of blues songs, students can learn about the experiences and struggles of the working-class Southerners who created the music, including the legacies of slavery and the cotton economy in the South, the development of Jim Crow, the Great Migration, and the Civil Rights Movement.