Saturday, August 29, 2015

Photo Essays: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

The Global Oneness Project is a great resource for photo essays, this one is called “People of the Clouds”. I loved how these photo essays captured the culture of a group of people and told their story. Follow The Global Oneness Project on Twitter @goproject for free multimedia stories and lessons.

*Check the content first, some stories may be too graphic for the age group that you are teaching.

A photo essay would be a great lesson in any class. Visual literacy can be applied to any subject or content area. I would like to have students create and present a photo essay that shares their culture, or tells their story. I thought this would be a great way to get to know students in the early part of the school year. Students could create a slideshow of their photo essay and share it with the class. If you have a class Instagram, blog or website students can share their photo essays, comment and ask each other questions, so they get to know each other better as well. I think this would be a great community building project.  I also like that a photo essay isn’t something that will scare a struggling reader/writer or English language learner.

Some ideas for photo essay topics in every subject area:

  • All: A photo essay about school culture  
  • Math/Science: A photo essay of the real world applications of a math or science concept
  • History: A photo essay on the topic of civil rights in a then vs. now format
  • Science: A photo essay about a local environmental issue or concern
  • Math: A photo essay that illustrates geometric concepts in everyday things that you see
  • All: A photo essay of a class field trip
  • English: A photo essay illustrating a theme from a novel that is being read either as a class or as a book report alternative for independent reading

I will update this post and share some examples from my class once we have completed a project. I would love to hear your ideas for using photo essays in the classroom as well.