Smithsonian

Step Two: Analyzing an Artifact as a Class

Tell students that they will examine how people worked to eliminate segregation in schools by analyzing a photograph. The photo shows parents protesting for better schools in Washington, D.C., in the early 1950s.

Distribute copies of the graphic organizer "Eliminating Segregation" and the photograph of the parent protest. Use the questions below to model artifact analysis.

  • What does the source reveal?
  • Who is seen in this photograph?
  • What is happening in the photograph?
  • What are the people in the photograph doing?
  • When was this photograph taken?
  • Where was the photograph taken?
  • Why are the people holding signs?
  • What does the image conceal?
  • Is there anything that you cannot determine by examining the photograph?
  • Do you have any questions about the artifact or document?