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Meet Lucy. She’s doesn’t know much about teaching gifted education. She hasn’t even started college yet. The only educational technology she knows about is the one time, in her younger days, when she chewed up my laptop cord. She’s can’t even tweet…yet. But, tonight she played fetch… with a lemon.
Education has been throwing A LOT of lemons our way lately. But, we have two choices. We can be frustrated by the things we cannot change, or we can DO something. Take action. Complaining about how sour things are gets us nowhere fast. When the lemons come our way… we can play fetch.
Ready. Set. GO!
Day 3 of the Creativity Challenge…. my favorite topic! Photography! I have been participating in The Daily Shoot (http://www.dailyshoot.com/) and taking a photo a day for the past couple of years. The project has been so much fun and even on the busiest of school days and family evenings, I’ve managed to keep up and take a photo. The project has really got me thinking about photography and it’s benefits in the classroom. What about those Visual Spacial Learners? Couldn’t photography motivate, inspire, and engage them? A single photo can inspire a million thoughts and those thoughts can be turned into classroom projects!
Ten Ways to Incorporate Photography Projects in the Classroom
1.) Book Walk: Following the completion of a book, have students take a photograph that represents a character in the story. They could write about the photo and explain how it represents the character, taking thinking skills up notch! Can you imagine a photo representing The Trunchbull from my favorite book Matilda by Roald Dahl?
2.) Geometric Scavenger Hunt: Rectangular prisms, pentagons, and right angles are topics explored in many grade levels. Why not have the kids take the camera and hunt for shapes. They will certainly remember what parallel means after they have photographed it!
3.) Poetry: Take a photo and write a haiku about it. Follow the 5-7-5 syllable pattern. For fun, mix up the haikus and photos and let the kids match them back up! You could easily differentiate this type of activity by having a variety of poem types available or having advanced students research their own type of poem to write and represent their photo with!
4.) Word Wall: Collect some vocabulary words that the kids need to work on and have them take photos to represent the definition. When they need to learn the word “triumphant” and take a photo of a classmate finishing the mile run in gym class, they will remember that word!
5.) Class Memory Book: Assign “photographer” as a classroom job. Let a student take a few photos during the week to commemorate the event. At the close of the year, use the photos to develop a slideshow in a free program like Windows Movie Maker. Set it to music and students have an instant keepsake!
6.) Connect with Another Classroom: Using a free blog, like http://www.blogspot.com You can set up a blog and connect with another classroom. You might be able to find a class on a site like epals.com or Teacher.Net Project Switchboard. You could collaborate and pick weekly topics like “The View from Your Window,” or “A School Lunch” and post. Imagine the possibilities for student writing in comparing and contrasting!
7.) Caption Contest: Provide a photo for students and ask them to write a creative caption for it. Students could even take photos and submit them for the class to write captions. You could search for images to get started on Flickr.com. The captions could be a sentence or the start to a full story!
9.) Scientific Experiments: What better to way to learn the lifecycle of a butterfly or plant than to photograph the process. Imagine students turning their photos into a presentation on a Website, PowerPoint, or digital story and having their picture to prove it!
10.) I Spy: Display a photo and reveal a small part. Ask students to write what they think they see. Then reveal a bit more. Ask them to write about how their opinion has changed. Finally, reveal the whole image to students. Kids LOVE this and it makes descriptive writing a game! If you have a SmartBoard (Interactive Whiteboard) you can use the Spotlight tool to reveal a bit of the photo at a time. The first time I tried this, I used a photo of a dog in a peacock costume. (There are some great costume pet photos here.)
Do you have any other ideas for using photography in the classroom? I’d love to hear about it!
Grab your camera and get started… or better yet… pass your camera off to your students and get them started!