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MUSD holds photographic history contest

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Jordan Mattox and Jennifer Sauceda of Madera South High School present first place historical essay winner, Karina Alvarado with a certificate and $100 prize donated by The Madera Tribune.


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 1880’s and the other from the 1930’s. 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 essays 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.


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