"Migrant Mother," by Dorothea Lange

Grade Range: 9-12
Resource Type(s): Artifacts, Primary Sources
Date Posted: 3/22/2012

During the Great Depression, government photographer Dorothea Lange took this picture at a migrant farmworkers' camp near Nipomo, California. Lange's brief caption recorded her impressions of the family's plight: "Destitute pea pickers ... a 32-year-old mother of seven children."

First published in a San Francisco newspaper, this poignant image became one of the most famous photographs of the Depression era, emblematic of the hardships suffered by poor migrant families. The "migrant mother," anonymous for many years, was later identified as Oklahoma native Florence Thompson.

Use this worksheet to guide students through describing the object and analyzing its meaning.


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