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What do the fashions of an era say about the values and gender roles of that era? Expert groups examine primary source documents and fashion visuals of the 1900s, 1920s, 1940s, and 1950s and consider how these fashions reflect economic and societal influences. After a jigsaw activity, individuals answer the central question by creating a reflective paragraph, complete with a claim and supporting evidence drawn from the sources.
- Consider modeling the OPTIC (overview, parts of the picture, title, interrelationships, conclusion) method of visual analysis before groups begin their examination of the source documents
- Extend the activity by asking class members to examine current fashion, and analyze what these styles say about modern attitudes and gender roles.
- Interesting assortment of primary source documents
- Careful sequencing accommodates most learners
- All images are of women's fashions; men's fashions are only briefly mentioned
- No provisions made to model how to analyze visuals