Since I am in a photography mind-set after finishing my latest post for my photography blog, I will share an activity and hand-out I have used in my English classes.
One way to incorporate mass media into a class is to use a medium other than traditional printed text to convey subject content/information. Either the teacher uses the medium to instruct or the students use it demonstrate their knowledge and understanding. Another approach is touse the medium’s structure ( codes and conventions ) to develop thinking skills and re-enforce terminology.
Using the idea that a well composed photograph is very similar in structure to a well composed narrative (story), I re-enforced the terminology for interpreting a narrative. The analytical skill that was used to “ Read a Photograph” could then be used to compose:
- A diagram/chart
- A report
- A news article
- A letter
- A narrative
A wide range of photographs can be used. Select ones that are most suitable based on grade and level of the class. Junior grades will respond best if there is a clear conflict or tension being presented in the photograph or if the subject and setting has an implied mystery.
The key questions:
- What is happening ?
- What happened before the moment/scene was captured in the photograph?
- What will happen next?
A good source for photographs is Trekearth.com . Here is an example of one of the photographs that would be effective for this type of analysis and follow-up activity.
Here is the handout as a pdf. photo-narrative1