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Classroom Activity: Photojournalism Project

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Fun ways to Personalize Learning

There is something special that happens when your take learning outside of the classroom. For two groups of students in a row, this activity has been a favorite for all of my students. It’s a memorable activity that allows students to be creative, have fun, and most importantly learn skills they can use both inside and outside of the classroom.

The first thing students need to understand is, “What is photojournalism?” Show them websites to explore or an article that is built mainly out of pictures. Teach them about how proper titles and captions help tell the story the photojournalist is trying to portray.

Next, teach them the basics of photography. Teach them about how angles and lighting impacts the photo and tells a new story, how it affects the feelings of the audience who is looking at the photo. Have them analyze pictures, asking them questions about what they think is happening, how the picture makes them feel. Once students understand the concepts and how to analyze photojournalism pieces, it’s time to send them off on an adventure

Teach Behavior Expectations:

Before leaving the classroom, go over behavior expectations and consequences for not cooperating and staying with the group. Next, take the class on a field trip around the school. Have them take photos of things that mean something to them. Ask students to take photos that represent something that is meaningful to them and their community.

The need to tell a story that highlights the concept of what their community means to them. Make sure all students stay with you and are aware they need a camera or phone with a camera for that day. Make sure they understand they need the storage space on their phones for the photos. When you get back to the classroom give them instructions for their activity.

Student Directions:

  1. Create a Google Site for your Photojournalism Project

  2. Title the website with a name for your news company which your photojournalism project is being featured on

  3. Pick 5 of your strongest photos that tell a story about what community mean to you here at our school

  4. Edit the photos as needed

  5. Title the Photojournalism piece with something that is significant to the theme of your piece

  6. Add captions underneath each photo to better tell the story you’re trying to tell

  7. Share the website with me when you are done to earn your grade

This is a TWO day activity, three days if you include the pre-lesson that prepares the students for the activity. One day of taking photos and touring the school, taking them to cool and unique places on campus. My school had a graveyard I was able to take my students to, with lots of history. We had the oldest stadium in the county (before it was renovated) that students were able to take interesting photos of. We literally traveled every building, every sporting field, every inch where they could not be disruptive to other classes. Then the next day, students will use the full 90 minutes of class (if you’re a 50 or 60 minute class period you will need an additional day) creating their website, editing their photos and adding in special touches. They are proud of their work and want the time to do a good job. Plus I check for missing content, grammar and spelling errors and make them redo parts if it is needed.

Absent Students

These students can instead used photos off of there phones that they took previously or use google to do the same assignment. I don’t allow them to wander the school on their own to take photos. If they missed that day, this is what they now have to do.

I hope you all enjoyed this activity!


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