Following analysis in pairs, students share their results with the class. Plan more than one class period.
After listening to all groups, students return to their initial written piece "Why Photograph War?" and edit this into a finished essay, adding knowledge gained from the discussion to this essay.
As an extension, this activity could be used with photographs from other wars with students comparing and contrasting what was photographed during each war.
Use this lesson as a starting point for students' own photo essays. Students take twelve pictures that would describe to the world who the student is and what is important to him/her. Since many students spend a lot of time composing some shots for their photo essay, preface this activity with a discussion about whether the Civil War photographs were posed or candid.
Brainstorm categories for searching for war photographs. Some possibilities are artillery, uniforms, medical aspects, battlefields, casualties, camps, camplife, transportation, hospitals, uniforms and forts. Put students in pairs. Model searching strategies and keywords to use in searching. Allow sufficient time for searching. Each group will choose 2 - 3 photographs from the collections that they will use for further analysis. Students kept a list of keywords they used that were related to their topic. They kept track of how many hits they found and what other subjects were listed for the photographs found.
Students will be evaluated on:
photographs they selected;
their analysis of those photographs;
their ability to work with a partner; and
the completed essay "Why Photograph War?".
All photographs and observation forms can be compiled into a scrapbook as a class record of photojournalism during the Civil War.