Objective: Students will look at a photograph and fill in a graphic organizer based on the five
who, what, where, when, why
, as a way of recognizing the visual elements within the photograph and how well they help to create a successful composition.
Materials: photograph, overhead projector and screen, graphic organizer (see
Introducing the Lesson: You might begin this lesson by asking students why people take photos? Students would hopefully answer that usually a photo is made to remember an event, place or person. Students might talk about events or things they might photograph. You could then tell them that photos tell us stories or have stories behind them much the same as those stories we read and write. Today we are going to try to learn how to read photographs. The same way we question, wonder, and connect to help us understand a story we can do the same with photographs. To help us we will use the 5 "W" questions: who, what, where, when, and why.
1. Present a photograph to the class such as
Shoes on the Sand
2. You may want to fill in the organizer after preliminary discussions about the photo. You can decide whether to give each student a copy of the organizer at the start of the lesson. Sometimes the organizer becomes a distraction.
3. If you follow the discussion as outlined in the unit your students will agree that the photo of the sneaks suggests more than it directly shows us about being at the beach.
4. Additional "why" questions you might include are:
Why did the photographer emphasize certain elements and not others?
What's in focus?
Is one person or object in focus or many?
What happened before or after the picture was taken?
What might the photo look like if the photographer had taken it from another
angle- above, behind, left, right, or below?
Conclusion: Students would have successfully completed the organizer and begin to understand how the 5"W" questions help them become more conscience of detail and point of view.