Our project throughout the year
has two major aspects. One, the students work closely
with the school newspaper providing important images
that help tell the story. Second, students work individually
on class projects that help them to become visually literate.
Each project pushes their creativity, technical skills,
and leads to a better understanding of themselves. Photography
becomes a powerful outlet for students allowing them
to communicate important ideas in a way that is both
fulfilling and fun.
Standards for photography in
California only cover the technical side; my units go
beyond. Students use technology, English language arts
and social studies skills in my class as well. The
objective of this curriculum is for the students to become
visually literate. Students learn about different tools
that allow them to communicate visually. Students learn
how to use, film cameras, chemical darkroom, digital
cameras, Photoshop, Dream Weaver, and the use of the
Internet to share their work. Composition and creativity
is stressed with every new lesson.
I use a rubric for all photo
assignments students turn in. The rubric breaks down
student projects into four categories: composition, technical
quality, creativity, and relevance. Each new project
also has a written component that allows me to see how
well they have comprehended what I was trying to teach
This project allows students
to explore themselves visually and to share their work
globally. Students take their work much more seriously
when they realize that their photos might be posted on
our website. Students also revisit lessons more often
when they are on the website. The website allows them
to review information at their leisure. Allowing students
to share their work on the internet has created a bigger
purpose for the class.
These projects contribute to student learning
by providing an outlet for their work and also as a way for them
to gain further understanding of different lessons. I think this
could be a great forum in other classes. English and writing classes
could post student essays. Science classes could show student science
projects. Social studies classes could have discussion on current
events or have an editorial page sharing opinions and ideas. The
amount of things classes could do with what I’m doing is endless.
Teacher Name: Donald Langford
About the teacher:
Donald Langford is a Photography teacher at Fountain Valley High
School in Fountain Valley, Calfornia.
Grade Levels: 9-12