by David Oppenheim, John Dewey High School, Brooklyn, New York, 2007
How can seeing (experiencing) “place” through photos help us increase our understanding of Cannery Row?
Students will be able to:
- Describe photographs of Cannery Row area.
- Connect setting to place by viewing photos that inspired Steinbeck while writing Cannery Row.
Has a physical place ever revealed to you the behavior of its inhabitants?
See “Doc’s” Life: Ed Ricketts and You and use as desired as classwork or class project.
Questions for Discussion Following the Activity
- What do you see in this photo (or photos)?
- How does it relate directly to the book?
- Is the photo of the place different/same as your imagination’s “view” of the place? In what way?
- What do you “see” now that you didn’t “see” before?
- What do you understand better about setting’s relationship to character?
- If you had a camera, what scene from Cannery Row would you snap? Describe it as a photographer.
- What have you learned about setting (place) from this lesson?
- What have you learned about Cannery Row, specifically?
We’ve explored the connections between place, photos, and literature . How does this help you understand the novel in a different way?
Take a photo on your digital camera of a place that means something to you . Freewrite for 15 minutes on that photo and bring the photo and journal in class to discuss with the class tomorrow.