Project 1: Comparing Past and Present
Project 2: Be an Iconographer
Project 3: Time Warp!
1. Pick a picture that you like from this web site. Be sure to look at
the title to see what the picture is of, and what street it is on.
2. If you can, print out the picture so you can carry it with you.
3. Find a recent street map of Philadelphia, and find where your building
4. Have an adult take you there. You should bring:
a clip board
or something hard to write on
paper to draw
crayons, paints...whatever you like to draw with
5. Make your own picture of the building! It probably looks pretty different
today than it did one or two hundred years ago. Think about what the artist
put in the picture when he first drew it--are there other buildings? Trees?
The street? People? What do you think is important to show in your picture?
Imagine someone looking at what you have drawn one hundred years from now.
What would they be interested in knowing about how things looked today?
6. Compare your drawing to the old one. What differences do you notice?
Why do you think it has changed? What seems to be the same about them?
You might want to narrow down your students' choice of image, either
by image type, collection, or location.
Images of a single building (examples...) will be more manageable for
younger students. The Birch, Wild, or Child views include a number of single-subject
illustrations with a nicely limited context (a few pedestrians and neighboring
Commercial Panoramas (Wild, Child, etc.) lend themselves to more complex
individual projects, or to a team project. On a team, students might pick
a block to work on, and divide it up so that each student is responsible
for 1 or 2 buildings. They can then attach the drawings to make a complete
If a field trip is not feasable, another option is to have the students
look at examples of panoramas here, and then try drawing their own blocks
at home, rather than voyaging all over the city. This is a good exercise
in terms of observation, drawing, and descriptive skills. Back in the classroom,
students could talk about how they decided what to include in their drawings,
how the drawings are different or the same as the historic ones they have
seen here, why someone might want to record what a block looks like at a
given point in time, etc.