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1.1.4 School children in class on the beach, [s.d.]

Photograph of school children in class on the beach, [s.d.]. Rows of small wooden desks are arranged in a square at center, and dozens of young children in bathing suits can be seen standing near the desks. A female teacher can be seen standing near a larger desk in the foreground at left, and a blackboard can be seen behind the students at left. A large banner can be seen in the background at center, and the ocean is visible further in the distance.
undated
Photographic Print
School children in class on the beach, [s.d.]. Undated. California Historical Society and University of Southern California Libraries, California Historical Society Collection, 1860-1960. http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/p15799coll65/id/5065/rec/1

Could this be a school or classroom located on the beach? What clues are there that would indicate that this beach is a place for learning? Notice the way the students are dressed, the arrangement of the desks, the teacher, and the expressions on the students’ faces. Why would it be important for there to be special rules for this classroom?

This photograph challenges students to consider how context informs the rules that are made and enforced. Students determine how an outdoor educational setting would require rules that are the same and different from a traditional classroom. This photograph was taken at the beach around 1936 for the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. It appears as though the intent was to illustrate “the healthful nature of Southern California’s citizenry and that anything is possible there,” according to text on the back of the photograph.

This additional text written on the back of the photograph may provide helpful context for students: “Photograph of school children in class on the beach. Rows of small wooden desks are arranged in a square at center, and dozens of young children in bathing suits can be seen standing near the desks. A female teacher can be seen standing near a larger desk in the foreground at left, and a blackboard can be seen behind the students at left. A large banner can be seen in the background at center, and the ocean is visible further in the distance.”