1. View the images in the set one by one. Ask students to look and list what they observe, including people, objects, settings, and the style of the art. Using that information as a guide, ask them to interpret the meaning or message of selected images and the mood or feeling the images convey.
2. Next, try to categorize and group the types of images in the set. Ask students to develop their own categories based upon what they see. Then, relate the categories they identify with real-life circumstances and facts of the Depression, such as the following:
- unemployment or homelessness figures;
- facts about the drought/Dust Bowl and its ecology;
- human migrations and displacements;
- information about different job sectors;
- WPA-era public facilities built in your community (e.g., bridges, schools, post offices, roads); and
- cultural phenomena not supported by the WPA that proceeded in spite of the Depression (e.g., the Harlem Renaissance).
3. Are there images that students cannot relate to their present-day lives or do not understand? Why? Explore the historical context of those images to arrive at an understanding of what is pictured and why the artist may have chosen to create that image.