Students will identify, document (photographically) and discuss issues that are important to their community.
National Core Art Standards
Michigan Social Studies Standards
Several class periods plus time outside of class
Select a number of photographs that represent life in a community. What kinds of impressions do we get? What kinds of challenges might these people face? Do you think the photographic interpretation might be different if the photographer lived, or did not live, in the communities?
For this project, students will present an insider’s perspective on their community. Divide students into groups of 3 or 4 and have them brainstorm about issues that affect their school community. Encourage them to come up with problems that they would like to see addressed. Record these in group notepads – these ideas will guide the selection of subjects to be photographed.
Each group will be given a camera to document their chosen subjects. In a predetermined amount of time the groups will photograph places and people around the school that illustrate their chosen issues. They should also keep their notepad with them to jot down thoughts, quotes, etc. Remind them that it is okay for several groups to come up with the same subject.
Each group will create a display for their photographs after they have edited and selected the most successful images. Photographs can be mounted on mat board or poster board in thematic groups. Discuss the use of captions and/or titles.
After all of the groups have completed their displays, a presentation and debriefing session can occur. The groups will share their issues and concerns with the class and compare/contrast all of the different approaches. If an issue occurs more than once, it may be an especially significant issue. Photographs of similar subject matter can also be discussed and compared in terms of visual similarities and differences. A discussion of how composition, color and lighting affect interpretation of the photographs can follow.