There are many events and topics throughout US History that I love to study. The Industrial Revolution is one of my favorites and child labor during that time is a special interest. I wanted to create a project gave the students the feeling of being in the factories with the children of the time.
Then I thought, what if the students could truly be in the factories? Could I use Lewis W. Hine and Jacob Riis’ pictures to put the students in the factories?
Students were told they were about to become true, child laborers. Each student created a Google Doc, and once they changed the setting to “free to use, share or modify, even commercially”, students used the Google Research tool find a picture of child labor from the Industrial Revolution. This was a great opportunity to review the photo citation process. After finding the picture, students took a screenshot of it and saved it to their desktop.
During one class period students brought in clothes that best matched the children in the picture, they were not required to purchase anything. Most of the boys brought in a button down shirt, while many girls found dresses in their moms’ closets. Some students even brought in props. We then dirtied them up a bit with some potting soil, to give them an authentic look fo the working conditions in the factories.
After taking their pictures we put them into iMovie in order to change them to black and white, or in some cases, sepia. Students then took a screenshot of the altered picture and using the cropping tools removed all surrounding background.
The altered screenshot was then copied and pasted onto the screenshot of the original picture. That allowed us to size the student to fit in with the original.
The finished products are outstanding. The students are always amazed at their completed “photographs” and are anxious to see pictures from other classes. This project is a perfect combination of history and technology.