Thursday, April 14, 2011

Holocaust Photo Analysis

A great activity to use with students studying the Holocaust is analyzing photos. It helps to actually create a “picture” in the minds of our students of the real people affected by the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a photo archive that is filled with powerful photographs. You can access the photo archive by going to

Here are some of the questions you can use with your students when analyzing photographs:
  • Describe the photograph. What is happening in this photograph? What does it tell you about the time period and people portrayed in the photograph? What social class do you think they belong to? Do you know when and where this photo was taken?
  • Who do you think took the photo? How did you come to that conclusion?
  • Why do you think this photograph was taken?
  • What are your personal reactions to this photograph? What does this photo tell you about the lives of the people in it?

This can be a great individual writing activity with students where they write a reflection about a photograph or can be easily incorporated as a group activity. Students can share their analysis of the photographs with the class which can be a great starting point for discussion about many aspects of the Holocaust.

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