In 2022, the Madera Method started hosting a series of contests using historical documents and encouraging original student research. Madera Unified School District and the Madera Method concluded its first annual Madera Historical Photos Contest for all Madera Unified high school students. In this contest, students are invited to compare and contrast two historical photographs of Madera, and to draw conclusions about how Madera and the world, more broadly, have both changed. The next contest will be announced on this page. Meanwhile, join us in celebrating the first Madera Method Historical Photo Essay Contest winner: Madera South student Karina Alvarado!
Instructions for applying to the contest and submitting the 750-900 word essay.
Using the two pictures of Madera grocery stores below, students will write a brief essay responding to this prompt: Identify differences between the two pictures that demonstrate how Madera and the United States changed from the Gilded Age to the era of the Great Depression.
Deadline: May 1st, 2022
Madera South High School history teacher Jordan Mattox recently dipped into his pedagogical haversack to create a new Madera Method project and showed the district’s high school students that history pays.
Mattox put out a challenge, via the internet, to all of Madera’s U.S. history students. He posted photographs of two Madera grocery stores — one from the 1880s and the other from the 1930s. The students were asked to compare and contrast the historic photographs, looking for clues that would suggest how life had changed for Maderans from the Gilded Age to the Great Depression.
Following their examination of the photos, students were instructed to write an essay that identified differences between the two pictures and demonstrated how Madera and the United States had changed. The essay’s minimum and maximum lengths were 750 to 900 words. They had to be typed and then submitted to Mattox electronically.
Mattox spiced up the contest by adding a monetary incentive. The top essay netted the student writer $100. Second place won $50, and third place got $25. The prize money was donated by The Madera Tribune
The first-place winner was Karina Alvarado, a Madera South junior. Adam Meza placed second, and Jessica Pennington was third. Meza and Pennington are students at Matilda Torres High School.
Originally published in the Madera Tribune