I know it’s Lesson Plan Friday, but I thought I might try a different route, just this once.  Remember those transitions I was talking about earlier this week?  :)  Today, I wanted to give you some information on using a technique called Photographic Journaling.  This technique can be used as a lesson plan, which is why I thought it might be appropriate for today.

In photographic journaling, students keep a journal that documents items that you send them in search of.  For instance, if you want students to document patterns, simply send them in groups or individually with a digital camera around the school or your classroom in search of patterns.  When they find a pattern, they can snap a picture of it with their camera.  After they are finished collecting their images, they can return to the classroom, upload them and either print them out to paste into their standard journals or keep them in a digital portfolio.  This is a fun process because there are so many ways that you can use this:

1.) If printing them out and pasting them into their journals, students can keep a journal of visual reminders about key vocabulary terms, concepts and strategies throughout the year.  This can help them study, make meaning out of their own learning and take control of their learning by the way they decide to organize their “snapshots”.  They could make them into a collage of images, or simply have one image and then write about what this image means to them.  Great for writing journals, math journals, or science journals alike!  Like the idea of an artful journal?  Find out more about this process here.

2.) If keeping them as a digital portfolio, students have so many options for what to do with their images!  They can organize an online portfolio for each subject area and then categorize each area by subtopic.  They can then use the photos as a documented journey of each subtopic.  Students can also upload their images to various websites like MagicStudio or Pixton and create interactive posters, presentations, or comics that label what is significant about each image.  This creates a concrete connection between the image and the subject matter.  Students could even arrange their images over long periods of time to create a movie using the web-based Animoto program, synthesizing their learning over a vast range of topics.

Now, I understand that some schools have very few digital cameras.  This is an easy fix!  You can have a set day of the week for students to use the cameras and send one group out each week.  Rotate the groups and allow students to share images.  Use technology to your advantage – bring the world to your students!

Want to learn more about photographic techniques you can share with your students in the classroom?  Consider signing up for our Arts Techniques Online Class this fall – we have so much more photo techniques to share with you!