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Photography Unit

Photography Unit

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Photograpy

:
The Art of Communication
Mandy Fox
Samford University
Ansel Adams, a very famous nature photographer has said,
“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer
and the viewer.” Why would those two people be in every
picture? In what ways can photography communicate a message
from photographer to viewer? In this unit, you will seek to
answer these questions for yourself on your journey to become a
photographer who communicates to their viewers.
Many photographers spend thousands of dollars on equipment
and travel hundreds of miles just to get that “perfect shot”.
Why do they work so hard to try and capture the ultimate photo?
What drives them to continue in that pursuit?
In this unit you will learn about the elements of a
photograph such as light, line, color, depth of field, and
balance. You will also discover ways to increase your chances
of getting that “perfect shot” such as framing, using your
camera effectively, and the materials to help you tweak the
photo, once you have taken it. It is also important to study
the famous photographers and look at their collections of work
in order to see what techniques they have used to become
successful.
Get ready... get set... point, shoot, and click!
Photograpy:
Making Your Pictures Talk
Photograpy:
The Art of Communication
Rationale
This unit is designed based on conceptual lenses. The overarching lens for the whole study will be communication.
Students will seek to gain an understanding of how photography is a tool of communication. They will also address
some underlying concepts of perspective, point of view, elements, and choice. Through participating in this unit,
students will know the elements that combine to effectively take a picture because they understand that art
communicates a message. They will be able to use the digital camera to create their own portfolio of photographic
work. Each student will be able to build this portfolio in a way that suits their style of learning as well as on the subject
matter they feel demonstrates their photographic strengths. After participating in this unit, students will be able to draw
on what they learned in order to evaluate, critique, and approach art intelligently.
Purpose
The purpose of this unit is to explore photography as an art an gain understanding of the following question: How
does art communicate meaning to its viewers? During the unit, students will be given the opportunity to communicate
their thoughts and feelings through a different medium than they are normally allowed to use in the school setting:
photography. It is also designed to give students an opportunity to study how professional photographers are able to
communicate messages to the viewers through their the pictures they capture.
Target Audience
This unit is targeted for third grade gifted students. The Alabama VIsual Arts Course of Study objectives were used
when designing this unit. However, this unit could be expanded and used all the way up to the fifth grade
depending on studentsʼ previous knowledge.
Appropriateness for the Gifted Learner
Sir Ken Robinson says it best when he talks about the lack of creativity
in our schools today. He states, “ My contention is that creativity now is
as important in education as literacy, and we should treat it with the
same status.” Students are not given enough opportunities to develop
their creativity and this includes gifted students. This unit aims to allow
students to communicate their thoughts and feelings through a
different medium than they are normally allowed to use in the school
setting. It is also designed to give students an opportunity to study
how professional photographers are able to communicate
messages to the viewers through their the pictures they capture.
Prerequisites for Students
There are no prerequisites needed for any student to participate in
this unit.
Concept Based Curriculum Flow Chart Concept Based Curriculum Flow Chart Concept Based Curriculum Flow Chart Concept Based Curriculum Flow Chart
Representative Topic
Photography
Representative Topic
Photography
Practicing Professionals
1. Fine Art Photographers
2. Photojournalists
3. Portrait Photographers
4. Commercial Photographers
5. Scientific Photographers
Practicing Professionals
1. Fine Art Photographers
2. Photojournalists
3. Portrait Photographers
4. Commercial Photographers
5. Scientific Photographers
Conceptual Lens
Communication
Conceptual Lens
Communication
Practicing Professionals
1. Fine Art Photographers
2. Photojournalists
3. Portrait Photographers
4. Commercial Photographers
5. Scientific Photographers
Practicing Professionals
1. Fine Art Photographers
2. Photojournalists
3. Portrait Photographers
4. Commercial Photographers
5. Scientific Photographers
Critical Content Critical Content Critical Content Critical Content
Facts Skills/Processes Skills/Processes Concepts
Visual Arts
Standard 3.1- Utilize a variety of
processes and media in the
production of artwork.
Standard 3.4- Create symbolic
works of art to communicate ideas
Standard 3.7- Identify symbols
and signs depicting specific ideas,
moods, feelings, and emotions
generated by a work of art.
Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and
feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Math
Standard 3.15-Explain
equivalence of fractions in special
cases, and compare fractions by
reasoning about their size.
Standard 3.25-Partition shapes
into parts with equal areas.
Express the area of each part as a
unit fraction of the whole.
1. Elements of a Photograph
a. Light, Line, Color, Depth of
Field, Balance, Framing
2. Elements of Photography
b. Framing, Shutter Speed,
Focus, Materials
3. Photography as a Means of
Communication
a. Critiquing Photographs
4. Famous Photographers
a. National Geographic
Photographers
b. Anne Geddes
c. Peter Lik
d. Ansel Adams
e. W.A. Bentley
1. Elements of a Photograph
2. Elements of Photography
3. Photography as a Means of
Communication
4. Famous Photographers
1. Elements of a Photograph
2. Elements of Photography
3. Photography as a Means of
Communication
4. Famous Photographers
1. Art
2. Communication
3. Expression
4. Perspective
5. Choice
6. Elements
7. Exploration
Essential Understandings/ Generalizations
• Art communicates messages.
• Elements of art work together to help the artists communication.
• Looking at art from different perspectives can change your understanding.
• Artists must make choices before beginning creation of their work.
Essential Questions
• In what ways can art communicate meaning?
• Why is art created?
• How do the elements of the art help the artists communicate?
• In what ways do artists use tools and techniques to express their thoughts and ideas?
• Has the change in the technology of cameras changed the purpose of photography?
• How might differing perspectives change your understanding of the art?
• In what way does a person’s experiences influence art and its interpretation?
•What choices must an artist make before their work begins?
• Why do artists choose particular tools and materials to express their thoughts and ideas?
• Is one particular media better than another at expressing certain thoughts and ideas?
Culminating Performance Task
As a new photographer on the scene, you are interviewing for a job as a professional photographer for a
leading magazine for teens. You will be putting together a portfolio of work entitled, “A Day in the Life of a
Normal Kid” to present your best work for the interview team to see. Disney and Nickelodeon would like you to
think that a normal teen would have a certain glamorous type of life. Using your camera, speak to the
magazine audience about what a normal kid’s life would really be like. Use your photographs to tell a story.
Make sure to use your photographic elements and tools to help you communicate. You may put your portfolio
together using any of the following tools:
- a website
- a notebook with printed pictures
- a poster board
- any other tool approved by the magazine board
Remember, you are applying for a job, so make sure that you are presenting your best. You might want to
check out the job qualifications before beginning your portfolio.
Instructional Activities
1. Hook- Define art after looking at some interesting pieces such as Robert Rymanʼs White on White, National
Geographicʼs Bedouin Girl, Claude Monetʼs Waterlillies, Leonardo da Vinciʼs Mona Lisa, and W.A. Bentleyʼs
Snowflakes.
2. Create a picture dictionary that demonstrates the various elements of photography after visiting centers that
give them opportunities to see the various elements in action and create their own examples.
3. Venn Diagram Activity of the Elements of Photography- pictures printed, they move them to the Venn to
discuss the elements they see. Using the sheets provided, students analyze the photographs.
4. Watch clips of From the Edge with Peter Lik, The Photographers- National Geographic video and Anne
Geddes: New Beginnings which show clips of photographers getting the shots. Read the story Snowflake
Bentley. Have students fill out a pie data collection sheet on what they all have in common.
5. Skype with a professional photographer to find out about their ideas of what makes a successful
photograph.
6. Every picture has a story activity from the Smithsonian Institute.
7. Illustrate a poem with a photograph.
8. Decide which type of photographer they would like to be and create a portfolio that illustrates their work.
Essential Understandings:
Students will understand that art communicates messages.
Students will understand that the elements of art work together to help the artists’ communication.
Students will understand that looking at art from different perspectives can change your understanding.
Students will understand that artists must make choices before beginning creation of their work.
Essential and Guiding Questions:
What is arts purpose?
• In what ways can art communicate meaning?
• Why is art created?
How do the elements of the art help the artists communicate?
• In what ways do artists use tools and techniques to express their thoughts and ideas?
How might differing perspectives change your understanding of the art?
• In what way does a personʼs experiences influence art and its interpretation?
What choices must an artist make before their work begins?
• Why do artists choose particular tools and materials to express their thoughts and ideas?
• Is one particular media better than another at expressing certain thoughts and ideas?
Preassessment: (30 minutes)
The week before beginning the unit on photography, students will be asked to fill out the graphic organizer
in order to find out what they know and be able to better address areas of interest.
Lesson One: Introduction to the Unit (1 1/2 hours)
Guiding Questions: What is artʼs purpose? Why is art created? In what ways can art communicate
meaning?
1. Begin with showing the students various pictures of art that challenge their thinking on what is
art. (Type I)
2. Ask the students to come up with a group answer to the question why the artists would have
created certain pieces? Then they must create a definition for what art is based on their answer
to that question. They can present it to the whole class however they prefer.
3. After the presentations, as a whole class, come up with an agreement on
what makes something art.
Lesson Two: Creating a Picture Dictionary
of the Elements of Photography (3
hours)
Guiding Question: How do the elements of the
art help the artists communicate? In what ways
do artists use tools and techniques to express their
thoughts and ideas?
1. Students will participate in centers that introduce them
to the elements of a photograph and photography.
(Type II)
2. Students will create their own picture dictionary of all
the elements of a photograph and photography by
taking photographs that demonstrate those elements.
Unit Outline: Photography: The Art of Communication
Lesson Three: Venn Diagram of the
Elements/ Photographic Critiques
(1 hour)
Guiding Question: What is artʼs purpose? Why is art
created? In what ways can art communicate
meaning? How do the elements of the art help the
artists communicate? In what ways do artists use
tools and techniques to express their thoughts and
ideas? What choices must an artist make before their
work begins? Why do artists choose particular tools
and materials to express their thoughts and ideas? Is one
particular media better than another at expressing certain
thoughts and ideas?
1. Students will participate in a Venn Diagram activity,
where they group photographs based on their elements.
After grouping, they write what they share what they have in common.
2. Students will choose their favorite group of photographs
3. Discuss with the whole group what each group came up with for groupings. See if they can
discover different fields of photography.
Lesson Four: Famous Photographers (2 hours)
Guiding Question: What is artʼs purpose? Why is art created? In what ways can art communicate
meaning? How do the elements of the art help the artists communicate? In what ways do artists use
tools and techniques to express their thoughts and ideas? What choices must an artist make before their
work begins? Why do artists choose particular tools and materials to express their thoughts and ideas? Is
one particular media better than another at expressing certain thoughts and ideas?
1. Students will view clips of From the Edge with Peter Lik, The Photographers- National
Geographic video and Anne Geddes: New Beginnings which show clips of photographers
getting the shots. Read the story Snowflake Bentley.
2. Students will fill out a pie data collection sheet on what they all have in common.
3. Students will find their favorite form of photography (photojournalism, portrait, scientific, or
landscape) and concentrate on that for their photographs they will be taking for their portfolio.
Lesson Five: Skyping with Professionals (1 hour)
Guiding Question: What is arts purpose? Why is art created? In what ways can art communicate
meaning?
1. Before beginning Skype session, students will brainstorm a list of questions they would like to
ask the photographer. Remind them of what they learned by watching the clips during lesson
four.
2. Students will Skype with the photographer.
3. When finished, students will respond to the interview time in their blog responding to the
statement: Name three things you learned after talking with this professional photographer.
Lesson Six: Every Picture Has a Story (1 hour)
Guiding Question: In what ways do artists use tools and techniques to express their thoughts and ideas?
Has the change in technology of cameras changed the purpose of photography? How might differing
Unit Outline Continued:
Photography: The Art of Communication
perspectives change your understanding of the art? In what way does a personʼs experiences influence
art and its interpretation?
1. Divide the class into four groups, and give them each the four different Smithsonian pictures.
Have them use their observation skills and list everything they can see in the photo. Concentrate
on facts rather than inferences during this time.
2. Then have them right down the setting, time, and purpose of the photos.
3. Then list all the questions they have about the photograph.
4. Now it is time to make inferences. Have them complete the handout included and speculate as
to the story behind the photograph.
5. The students will put the four photographs in chronological order and cite evidence as to why
they believe they are correct. Students will fill out the Then and Now handout.
6. The class will discuss the advancement in technology to help photographyʼs purpose.
Lesson Seven: Illustrate a Poem (2 hours)
Guiding Question: In what ways do artists use tools and techniques to express their thoughts and ideas?
Has the change in technology of cameras changed the purpose of photography? How might differing
perspectives change your understanding of the art? In what way does a personʼs experiences influence
art and its interpretation?
1. Students will listen to the story of behind the looking glass.
2. Students will choose a poem from the choices given.
3. Students will formulate a picture and take that picture to illustrate the poem chosen.
4. Students will display their poem choice and illustration for others to react.
Lesson Eight: Create Your Own Portfolio (6 hours)
Guiding Question: What is my own photographs purpose? Why did I create what I did? In what ways can
my art communicate meaning?
1. Discuss all the elements and communication techniques the students have learned.
2. Students will create a portfolio based on their favorite type of photography.
3. Students will present that portfolio to a board of advisors.
Unit Outline Continued:
Photography: The Art of Communication
Photograpy:
The Art of Communication
I would like to find out what you already know about the area of photography. Please fill in this graphic
organizer below with as much information as you know to help me see where you are before we begin.
The History of
Photography
Famous Photographers Digital Photography and
How to Take a Good
Picture
What is the purpose of art? What is the purpose of art? What is the purpose of art?
If you could learn anything in the world about photography, what would it be?
Please list those below.
If you could learn anything in the world about photography, what would it be?
Please list those below.
If you could learn anything in the world about photography, what would it be?
Please list those below.
Components Menu for Introductory Lesson
Topic
Thinking Creatively About Photography and Its Tools
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
2 hours
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Before beginning unit, have students fill out
preassessment so that you can see where they are in regards to
their photography knowledge and skills.
Introduction
Using a grab bag of various photography items, have the students
blindly choose an item and then become the item and discuss what
life would be like if they were that item. Hint: This does not have to
be the items real use. If the student does not know what the item is,
that is where their creativity comes into play.
Teaching Methods
Creative Dramatics, Talents Unlimited (Productive Thinking), and
Socratic Circles
Learning Activities
1. Students will choose an item from the grab bag and use
creative dramatics to tell what life would be like if they
were that item.
2. After participating in that exercise, they will choose
another item from the grab bag and list on their paper
many, varied, and unusual ideas (at least 20) for how that
item could be used other than its normal use.
3. Students will then share their most creative ideas with the
class and we will vote on the most creative as a class.
4. Once they have done that, we will talk about what those
items are really used for if they are completely unfamiliar
with them.
5. Once they have done that, students will read the poem,
Photography by James Metcalfe and discuss their views
on what they think a photograph really is by using the
Socratic Method of discussions.
Resources
Poem Photography
Products
Notes from Socratic Circles
Grouping
Large and Small Group work as well as independent work
Extensions
Use the extension list for interest centers
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Students will be allowed to communicate in their way, but activities
are designed for all students to be able to participate at their level
making their own contributions to the group understanding of
photography and its tools.
Photograpy
by James Metcalfe
A photograph is more than just
A gift to bring or send.
And more than just the likeness of
A relative or friend.
It is a kindly greeting and
A memory to hold.
Of happy times and pleasant things.
However new or old.
It is a mirror that reflects
Companionship and cheer.
And now and then the wistfulness
That turns into a tear.
A photograph is something to
Adorn a desk or wall.
Or carry in a pocket and
Display to one and all.
It is a faithful portrait
The smile that friendship shares
To add its sunshine and to show
That someone really cares.
Introduction:
Show students the grab bag of items
you have collected related to
photography. Today we are starting
a new unit on photography. In order
to understand a little bit about
photography and to help me know
where you are in your
understanding, I have designed
some fun activities. We will be
pulling an item out of this bag and
then pretending to be the item. You
will tell us what life would be like if
you were the item. Be creative. If
you do not know what the item is or
what it is used for, do not worry.
Look at its shape and form and then
make something up. We will discuss
the real uses of these items later.
Go around the room and let every
student choose an item from the
bag. Once they have done so, give
them some thinking/planning time to
come up with their ideas. Then
using the stick choosing app, Stick Pick, randomly choose students to go. Once everyone has gone,
collect the items back into the bag. Do not put it away as you will use it again.
Wasnʼt that fun? We will continue with identifying the uses of these tools by being even more
creative. You will now choose another item out of the grab bag. If you get the same item as last
time, do not worry, that will just help you a little. Once you have gotten your item, you will use your
paper to do some Productive Thinking. Look at our board (point to the Talents Unlimited Productive
Thinking part of your bulletin board) and Productive Thinking. When we are doing Productive
Thinking, what are we wanting to do to expand our thinking? Students should respond with think of
many, varied, and unusual ways. Yes, that is right. Here you are going to think of many, varied, and
unusual ways that your item can be used. You should think of at least 20 ways. Think outside of the
box. You do not have to think of things that your item would normally be used for in photography.
You can look at its shape, its form, etc. and decide what it might be useful for other than in the field
of photography. Give students time to brainstorm many, varied, and unusual ideas for their items.
Once they are finished, allow students to share some of their best ideas for the object. Put the name
on the board of the item and then see who is the closest to the real use and who has the wackiest
use for their item. It is important to be able to think of many ideas and to think creatively. In this unit
we will be doing a lot to help develop our creativity. So, hopefully, by the time we are finished with
Introductory Leson:
An Introduction to Photography and Its Tools
this unit on photography, you will feel like you have another way to be creative or be able to understand
others creativity.
Now we are going to read a poem called
Photography by James Metcalfe. After we read this
poem, we are going to participate in a discussion
called a Socratic Circle. Does anyone know what
that is? Does anyone hear a name of someone
famous in the word Socratic? Yes, you are right. It is
Socrates. Socrates liked to allow people to discuss
their understandings and ideas. That is what we are
going to do. Letʼs start off by reading the rules to a
Socratic Circle. Read the rules and highlight
procedures. Ask if there are any questions. Now
that we have read the rules and there are no
questions, letʼs start by having you divide into two
groups. The first group may be seated and the
second group will use their pencils and paper to
take notes. Remember from our rules, you will only
take notes on what the participants are doing, not
on the material itself. Letʼs start off with a question
from me. “What do you think a photograph is? Do
you agree with the author? Why or why not?
Remember, talk to the group, not me. Give time for
first group discussion. Swap after conversation dies
down. Then give time for second group to discuss
and first group to watch. Letʼs hear from the groups
that watched the action. What did you all see? Give time for the students to explain what they saw and
discuss their findings with the class. Note any behaviors that might need to be changed for the next
Socratic Circle and make sure to address what might improve it for next time. Now, how did you all like
that method of discussing a poem or story? It is important to hear everyoneʼs opinions and especially in
photography. We will hear lots of peopleʼs ideas and opinions about photographs, some might even be our
own photographs. Not everyone will agree and not everyone will like the same things. The important thing
is that you back up your opinion and ideas with facts and rationals rather than just our own opinions. For
instance, you cannot say you donʼt like the photograph without saying why. Your reason why cannot be
because you think it is ugly. You must say what bothers you about the photograph such as that you donʼt
like the subject of the photograph, or you donʼt like the colors in the photograph. This is called
metacognition, which is thinking about your thinking. Hopefully, by participating in this Socratic Circle, you
will be able to better discuss photographs and why you believe the way you do about them because you
are thinking about your own thinking.
Introductory Leson:
An Introduction to Photography and Its Tools
Continued
You will be participating in a Socratic Seminar. In order to do this, you must follow these steps:
1. Read the text once all the way through.
2. Reread the text making notes as to questions you might have, thoughts you might have, things it
might remind you of, or connections to yourself or others. You can write directly on the text by the
place you thought about it so that you can see where you might have had thoughts or questions.
3. As you reread, mark any unfamiliar words and look them up so that you can share the words with
others who might not know the wordʼs meaning as well.
4. Once you are done, you will be talking about the text in the group. The class will be divided into two
groups. The first group will talk about the text, while the second group watches and makes notes of
the first groupʼs behavior or how they participate. They might notice things such as one member not
talking at all, or one member talking too much. They might also notice if anyone is rude or says
anything that does not help the group.
5. After the first group has discussed, the groups will change places and the second group will discuss
while the first group watches and makes notes.
To Participate Effectively You Must:
• Listen carefully to what others are saying
• Take what they say seriously
• Look for reasons and evidence from the story- you cannot just say it because it is your
opinion, you must be able to prove it from the text
• Recognize and reflect when someone is saying something that might not be in the text, but is
their belief
• Discover examples, analogies, and objections you might see
• Seek to distinguish what is known from what someone might believe
• Seek to see things from others point of view
• Be alert for possible problems from the text
• Look beneath the surface of the words themselves. Could the author mean something else by
what they said?
Socratic Circle:
Tips and Rules to Having a Good Discussion
Components Menu for Lesson One
Topic
Introduction to Art
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
45 minutes
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Communication
•Choice
•Exploration
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.7- Identify symbols and signs depicting specific ideas,
moods, feelings, and emotions generated by a work of art.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Graphic organizer completion done by students
individually one week prior to unit beginning
Post Assessment: Student reflection posted in their blog
Introduction
Read the book, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Class discussion on
their feelings about art and what makes something museum eligible.
Read the inspiration for the dot from the following website. Peter H.
Reynolds: The Dot Questions & Answers
Teaching Methods
Direct Instruction, Brainstorming, and Group Sharing
Learning Activities
1. Show students some interesting pieces such as Robert Rymanʼs
Twin, National Geographicʼs Young Afghan Girl, Claude Monetʼs
Waterlillies, Leonardo da Vinciʼs Mona Lisa, and W.A. Bentleyʼs
Snow Crystals.
2. In small groups, brainstorm answer to the question, “What makes
something art?” Share ideas with whole group.
3. Large group discussion in order to solidify what makes something
art.
4. After class definition is determined, students will respond in their
blog as to their personal experience with art and photography.
Resources
Pictures following this lesson plan, brainstorming guide, projector
and screen for large group viewing of photos
Products
Whole class definition on what makes art.
Grouping
Large and Small Group work
Extensions
Choose one activity from the following website to show how some
art is exploration.The Dot Activity Ideas by Peter H. Reynolds
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Groups of students will be grouped by learning styles and will have
a choice on how to share with the class their definition of what
makes something art. (Can act it out, draw it, write it, etc.)
Introduction:
Show students the book, The Dot by Peter H. Reynolds. Today we are starting a new
unit on photography. We will call it Photography: The Art of Communication. Do you
think photography is an art form? Students should answer yes. If you do, then in order
to know about photography, we must start with knowing a little bit about art first. How
many of you have read this book before? Those of you who have not, what do you
think it will be about based on looking at the cover and knowing the title? Letʼs read
the story and find out if you are right.
When you are finished reading the book, ask:
Why do we have museums? What makes something eligible to go in a
museum? Do you think Vashtiʼs work should go in a museum or not? Why or
why not?
I would like to show you some pieces of art, some of which are photographs.
Use the sheet in front of you to mark whether you think the following pieces
of art work should or should not go in a museum and why. I am going to tell
you the history behind some of the art or art work. Listen carefully as that
might help you make your decision.
The first piece is a sculpture work hanging in a London Gallery. Cornelia
Parker is a professor of conceptual art at the European Graduate School.
She likes to have a humorous, cartoonist style to her work and often
suspends things in order to challenge time and space.
The second piece is by Robert Ryman, a very famous modern artist.
He is often called a minimalist. His main concern is presenting the
materials that he uses at face value. He is known as a life-long
experimenter with materials.
The third piece is by Nicholas Nixon. He is famous for working with
large format cameras, rather than the small 35mm cameras. He
preferred it so that he would maintain the quality of the photos. He
is famous for his portraits of people.
The fourth piece is by Steve McCurry. He is a National
Geographic photographer who took this shot in 1985 and it
landed on the cover of the magazine in the June edition. It has
Leson One:
An Introduction to Art
been known as the most well know National Geographic photo of all time.
The fifth piece is by TImothy OʼSullivan who was know for his photographic work of the
Civil War and the American West. For two years, he was the official photographer of the
United States.
The sixth piece is by Marcel Duchamp. He is a Surrealist which means that his art work
is supposed to be like that of dreams or playfulness. He liked to take things and make
them very playful so that the person viewing it would add to it whatever they wanted.
The seventh piece is by Arman. He is an artist that like to accumulate things and put
them all together. When he saw someone react to his first viewing of
his accumulation work, he realized how powerful they could be and
began to create more.
The eighth piece is by John Baldessari. He is a conceptual artist
and taught at UCLA for over twenty years. He created this from
a photograph and then printed it out. He likes to include
language in his works along with images.
The ninth piece is a painting by Leonardo da Vinci. His painting is
considered the most famous painting in the world, however it was not
well known until the mid 1800ʼs when it was said to be a great example of
what women are like. It was also stolen in 1911 from the Louvre, the museum
in Paris where it now hangs, which skyrocketed its popularity.
The tenth painting is of Waterlillies. It was done by Claude Monet and was
his attempt to study light and color. He painted many of the same lilies in
various times of day and weather conditions.
The eleventh piece is by W.A. Bentley. He was the first person to ever be
able to capture actual photographs of individual snowflakes. His life dream
was to capture the beauty of snowflakes so that other could see it. We will
be reading a story about him later on when we study famous photographers.
The twelfth piece is done by Scott Wade. He is a commercial artist that was
bored when he got home. He had a long drive down a dusty road to get
home from work and always had a dirty windshield to work with so he
began to use them as his canvas. When someone posted a picture
on the internet, his fame was born.
What I want you to do is not take your data sheets to your group. I will put
Leson One:
An Introduction to Art Continued
you in groups, so donʼt worry about finding someone right now. In your group you will
decide on what makes something art. You can use these examples and information that
I just told you to help you come to your decision. Then your group must come back to
the whole group and present your decision on what makes something art. You can
present however you would like. Be creative. You could draw, act something out, speak,
or write a poem or short story. You be creative. After watching all these presentations,
we will come to a whole group decision as to what we think, as a class, makes
something art. Any questions?
While the students are discussing in groups, walk around and listen and ask questions
such as: What type of artist was he/she? Does that make a difference?”What is
happening in the art? What is the art asking the audience to do? What has the artist
done with the materials?
Once the students are done, have them come back to the main group and present their
ideas. Have one student take notes of what they say on the SMARTBoard. Once they
have presented the ideas, lead the group in a discussion that directs them to finding out
that art communicates a message and art is about exploration.
In order to have a good understanding of something, you have to be around it, talk
about it, participate in it, and practice it. I would like to know a little bit about your
background in the area of art. Your assignment
tonight is to post a journal entry on your
blog that tells me a little bit about your
experience with art. This art could be
photography or visual arts such as
painting, sculpting, etc. If you have no
experience or you have just gone to a
museum, I want to know that. All of you
have some experience in that you all
participate in art class once a week during
the school year. I also want you to tell me
how you feel about art in general, do you
enjoy it, do you dislike it, do you want to
know more about it. Remember the
criteria that makes a good blog post. This
is not a text message, this is a post.
Remember when you press that Post
button it is as if you are saying to me and the
world, “This is my best work and I want you to
see it.”
Leson One:
An Introduction to Art Continued
Art Piece Should it Go In a
Museum? Yes or No
Why or Why Not?
Candelabra with
Grand Reflection
Yes or No
Twin
Yes or No
Self 4, Brookline
Yes or No
Young Afghan Girl
Yes or No
Canyon de Chelle
Yes or No
Bicycle Wheel
Yes or No
I Still Use Brushes
Yes or No
Goya Series: And
Yes or No
Mona Lisa
Yes or No
Water Lillies
Yes or No
Snow Crystals
Yes or No
Uncle Albert
Yes or No
Y#r Opinion:
An Introduction to Art
Caption:
Cornelia Parker
Candelabra with Grand Reflection, 2004.
© the Artist
Courtesy Frith Street Gallery, London.
Twin
Robert Ryman (American, born 1930)
1966. Oil on cotton, 6' 3 3/4" x 6' 3 7/8" (192.4 x 192.6 cm).
Charles and Anita Blatt Fund and purchase. © 2011 Robert Ryman
Self 4, Brookline
Nicholas Nixon (American, born 1947)
2008. Gelatin silver print, 13 9/16 x 10 5/8" (34.5 x 27 cm). Carl Jacobs Fund.
© 2011 Nicholas Nixon
Steve McCurry
Young Afghan Girl
1985
National Geographic Cover
Canyon de Chelle
Timothy O'Sullivan (American, born Ireland. 1840-1882)
1871-73. Albumen silver print, 7 15/16 x 10 13/16" (20.2 x 27.5 cm).
Gift of Ansel Adams in memory of Albert M. Bender
Bicycle Wheel
Marcel Duchamp (American, born France. 1887-1968)
New York, 1951 (third version, after lost original of 1913). Metal wheel mounted on
painted wood stool, 51 x 25 x 16 1/2" (129.5 x 63.5 x 41.9 cm). The Sidney and Harriet
Janis Collection. © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate
of Marcel Duchamp
I Still Use Brushes
Arman (American, born France. 1928-2005)
1969. Brushes embedded in plastic, in acrylic box, 80 x 80" (203.2 x 203.2 cm). Bequest of
Richard S. Zeisler. © 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Goya Series: And
John Baldessari (American, born 1931)
1997. Ink jet and synthetic polymer paint on canvas, 6' 3" x 60" (190.5 x 152.3 cm). Mr. and
Mrs. Thomas H. Lee Fund. © 2011 John Baldessari
Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci
between 1503 and 1505
Oil on poplar
76.8 × 53 cm (30.2 × 20.9 in
Claude Monet
Water Lilies
1906
Oil on canvas
87.6 x 92.7 cm
Wilson A. Bentley
1931
Snow Crystals
photograph
Uncle Albert
Scott Wade
2009
Dirt, dust, and a rear window of a car
Components Menu for Lesson Two
Topic
Introduction to the Elements of Photography
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
3 hours total
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.1- Utilize a variety of processes and media in the
production of artwork.
•Standard 3.3- Apply the elements of art and principles of
design, including complementary and monochromatic color
schemes, value, contrast, and asymmetrical balance in works of
art.
•Standard 3.6- Compare works of art in terms of complementary
color schemes, value, contrast, and asymmetrical balance.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by
individual artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Before beginning lesson, ask students to make a
list of common elements they might see in all pieces of photography.
Post Assessment: Completed student picture dictionary of
elements of photography.
Introduction
Gather students and ask them to tell you certain things they think
all photographs have in common. Have the students brainstorm a
list at least ten things they think all photographs have in common.
After brainstorming, have the students share and make a class list
of those. Then share the real list of elements and see how close
they were to the real list that professional photographers view as the
elements of all good photographs.
Teaching Methods
Direct Instruction, Brainstorming, Individual Research and Group
Sharing
Learning Activities
1. Students will participate in centers that introduce them to
the elements of a photograph. (Type II)
2. Centers:
a. a. Line- Students will view photographs that have
successfully used line. They will then take pictures of
their own where line is successfully used.
b. b. Light- Students will use the studio set up to learn
about lighting and flash. They will take pictures of
their own to help understand how light and shadows
can affect your pictures.
c. c. Color- Students will view the website http://
labs.ideeinc.com/
multicolr#colors=48a85b;weights=100; Then students
will practice taking the exact same pictures in color
and black and white. They will then explain which
they think is better for certain situations and why color
can aid or take away from the photograph.
d. d. Depth of Field- Students will view examples of
pictures that use depth of field to help highlight
certain parts of the picture. Students will then use the
studio set up to take still life pictures where they use
short depth of field to highlight certain parts of the still
lifes.
e. e. Balance- Students will view pictures that are
balanced and out of balance and put them in the
correct category based on their opinions. Students
will then take their own pictures and add them to the
categories.
f. f. Framing and Zoom- Students will read the books
Zoom and ReZoom. After reading these books, they
will take some consecutive pictures of the same
subject at different zooming levels.
3. Students will create their own picture dictionary of all the
elements of a photograph by taking photographs that
demonstrate those elements and visually explaining how
these photographs represent each element well.
Students may choose whatever method they would like
in order to create their dictionary such as a website,
slideshow, paper dictionary, etc.
Resources
Center Materials (see centers descriptions), cameras, and photo
paper.
Products
Student created picture dictionary that explains the elements of
photography.
Grouping
Large, Small Group, and Individual Work
Extensions
Website http://www.nga.gov/kids/zone/zone.htm
http://www.artsconnected.org/toolkit/index.html
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Students can choose any method to put their visual dictionary
together. They can create a website, create a paper dictionary, a
slideshow, or any other that is deemed acceptable by the teacher.
Elements of a Photograph
Components Menu for Lesson Three
Topic
Venn Diagram of Elements and Photographic Critique
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
45 minutes
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.1- Utilize a variety of processes and media in the
production of artwork.
•Standard 3.3- Apply the elements of art and principles of design,
including complementary and monochromatic color schemes, value,
contrast, and asymmetrical balance in works of art.
•Standard 3.6- Compare works of art in terms of complementary color
schemes, value, contrast, and asymmetrical balance.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Before beginning lesson, show students several
different photographs and ask them to identify the major element
used in that photograph.
Post Assessment: Completed Venn Diagrams.
Introduction
Read one of the best examples of the picture dictionaries done by
the students in Lesson Two. Review the elements of a photograph.
Tell students they will be testing the skills that they learned in the
elements centers during lesson two.
Teaching Methods
Direct Instruction, Problem Solving, Debate
Learning Activities
1. Students will be given various photographs. In pairs, they
will write one element on each blank. Then they will sort
their pictures and place them in the appropriate areas
based on where they put their element labels.
2. Students will then share with the class why they chose
those locations.
Resources
Photographs, Venn Diagram Sheets
Products
Finished Venn Diagram
Grouping
Large and Small Group work
Extensions
Students can use their own photographs they took in centers and
place them.
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Students will be grouped in pairs. Can use a two circle Venn
instead of a three circle if necessary.
Elements of a Photograph
Venn Diagram
Fill in the blanks with one of these elements. Do not use the same one twice (notice there is a front and back):
Light, Line, Color, Depth of Field, Balance, Framing. Then use the pictures to find the ones that would work for
each element or combinations.
Elements of a Photograph
Venn Diagram Continued
Photographs for Venn Diagram
Activity
Components Menu for Lesson Four
Topic
Famous Photographers
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
2 hours
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.7- Identify symbols and signs depicting specific ideas,
moods, feelings, and emotions generated by a work of art.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Have the students list all the things they know
about being a professional photographer on the pie chart.
Post Assessment: Compare their two pie sheets and write what
they have learned.
Introduction
Read the story Snowflake Bentley. Ask students if they think
William Bentley had any drive or desire to become a photographer.
Teaching Methods
Brainstorming, Discussion, Socratic Seminar
Learning Activities
1. Students will view clips of From the Edge with Peter Lik,
The Photographers- National Geographic video and Anne
Geddes: New Beginnings which show clips of
photographers getting the shots. Read the story
Snowflake Bentley.
2. Students will fill out a new pie data collection sheet on
what they all have in common after watching the video.
3. Students will participate in a Socratic Circle discussion to
decide on which characteristics they think all
photographers possess.
4. Students will find their favorite form of photography
(photojournalism, portrait, scientific, or landscape) and
concentrate on that for their photographs they will be
taking for their portfolio.
Resources
From the Edge with Peter Lik, The Photographers by National
Geographic, and Anne Geddes: New Beginnings DVDs
Products
Pie Chart with commonalities of all photographers
Grouping
Large and Small Group work
Extensions
Watch the rest of the movies on the iPod interest centers
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Students can complete this pie chart by drawing pictures, writing,
or a combination. This is what characteristics they think the
photographers all share in common.
Photographers
Characteristics of All Photographers
Components Menu for Lesson Five
Topic
Skyping with Professionals
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
1 hour
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: List any questions that you would like to ask the
professional photographer.
Post Assessment: Blog entry on what they learned from Skyping
with a professional photographer.
Introduction
When class starts have students fill out sheet that asks them if they
could talk to anyone in the world, who would it be and why. Discuss
with students that I would love to talk with a National Geographic
photographer. Tell them that they are going to be talking with a
professional photographer today via Skype. Remind them of the
rules of having a class visitor and that they are the same whether
they are here in person or via webcam.
Teaching Methods
Interviewing, Discussion
Learning Activities
1. Before beginning Skype session, students will brainstorm
a list of questions they would like to ask the photographer.
Remind them of what they learned when watching the
clips during lesson four and discussing it in a Socratic
Circle.
2. Students will Skype with the photographer.
3. When finished, students will respond to the interview time
in their blog responding to the statement: Name three
things you learned after talking with this professional
photographer.
Resources
Skype and a Projector
Products
Blog Entry
Grouping
Whole class and individual
Extensions
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Students can complete this pie chart by drawing pictures, writing,
or a combination. This is what characteristics they think the
photographers all share in common.
Brainstorming Sheet for Questions
for the Professional Photographer
Brainstorm a list of at least ten questions you would like to ask the professional photographer we will be
interviewing via Skype. We will then compile the questions and choose the some to ask them during our
interview time.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
Components Menu for Lesson Six
Topic
Every Picture Has a Story
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
1 hour
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.6- Compare works of art in terms of complementary color
schemes, value, contrast, and asymmetrical balance.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Students will individually answer the question: Do
photos have the same parts that a story has, such as setting,
purpose, and characters?
Post Assessment: Blog post entry: Why do you think it is important
to have a story behind each photo that you take as a photographer?
Introduction
Show students the Smithsonian picture and ask them to write a
story detailing what this picture is about.
Teaching Methods
Brainstorming, Group Discussion, and
Learning Activities
1. For all of these activities, use the sheets contained in the
Every Picture Has a Story Smithsonian Curriculum.
2. Divide the class into four groups, and give them each the
four different Smithsonian pictures. Have them use their
observation skills and list everything they can see in the
photo. Concentrate on facts rather than inferences during
this time.
3. Then have them right down the setting, time, and purpose
of the photos.
4. Then list all the questions they have about the
photograph.
5. Now it is time to make inferences. Have them complete
the handout included and speculate as to the story behind
the photograph.
6. The students will put the four photographs in
chronological order and cite evidence as to why they
believe they are correct. Students will fill out the Then and
Now handout.
7. The class will discuss the advancement in technology to
help photographyʼs purpose.
Resources
Every Picture Has a Story Smithsonian Curriculum
Products
Handouts from the Every Picture Has a Story Curriculum Packet
Grouping
Whole and Small Group
Extensions
Students can go to http://www.smithsonianeducation.org/students/
photo/photo_index.html and do some more photo investigations.
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Students will work in pairs to discover the stories behind the
photos. They will also be allowed to use different pictures to help aid
in the ability to come up with stories. Some of them are easier than
others.
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Components Menu for Lesson Seven
Topic
Illustrate a Poem
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
2 hours
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.6- Compare works of art in terms of complementary color
schemes, value, contrast, and asymmetrical balance.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Pre Assessment: Ask students to illustrate the Star Spangled
Banner. Give them the words to this song and ask them to draw a
picture that illustrates this song.
Post Assessment: Student critiques of their own photographs and
each others.
Introduction
Read the poem, Photograph of a Gathering People Waving by
Clarence Major http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/180526 Ask
students to draw a picture of one scene they hear in this poem.
Teaching Methods
Whole class discussion and independent student work
Learning Activities
1. Discuss the ability of photos to illustrate and how we see
it every day. Show them the book Tuesday by David
Weisner and explain that there is a story in this book, but
completely without pictures.
2. Students will then choose a poem from the choices given
in order to illustrate it through photography.
3. Students will formulate a picture and take that picture to
illustrate the poem chosen.
4. Students will display their poem choice and illustration for
others to react.
5. Students will create a blog post on their favorite
illustration and why it was their favorite.
Resources
Poems and camera equipment for studio shots
Products
Poem and Illustration
Grouping
Whole and Small Group
Extensions
Take your poem and do one of these activities to illustrate your
poem in another way: http://www.edu.pe.ca/southernkings/
merilynpoetryproject.htm
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Poems will be at various vocabulary levels so as to help those
students who may need lower level poems or those students who
may need a challenging poem.
Components Menu for Lesson Eight
Topic
Create Your Own Portfolio
Grade
Third Grade
Lesson Length
6 hours
Discipline
Visual Art/ Photography
Instructor
Mandy Fox
Content Knowledge/
Standards
Conceptual Lens- Communication
Concepts Addressed-
•Art
•Elements
•Expression
•Choice
Alabama Visual Art Course of Study-
•Standard 3.6- Compare works of art in terms of complementary color
schemes, value, contrast, and asymmetrical balance.
•Standard 3.8- Identify ideas and feelings expressed by individual
artists in works of art.
Assessment
Students will create a rubric together that will be based on the job
description requirements.
Introduction
Present the ad for a new photographer job opening. Ask students
who would like to create a portfolio based on that job opening.
Teaching Methods
Independent Study
Learning Activities
1. Discuss all the elements and communication techniques
the students have learned.
2. Students will create a portfolio based on their favorite type
of photography.
3. Job description: As a new photographer on the scene,
you are interviewing for a job as a professional
photographer for a leading magazine for teens. You will
be putting together a portfolio of work entitled, “A Day in
the Life of a Normal Kid” to present your best work for the
interview team to see. Disney and Nickelodeon would like
you to think that a normal teen would have a certain
glamorous type of life. Using your camera, speak to the
magazine audience about what a normal kid’s life would
really be like. Use your photographs to tell a story. Make
sure to use your photographic elements and tools to help
you communicate. You may put your portfolio together
using any of the following tools:
- a website
- a notebook with printed pictures
- a poster board
- any other tool approved by the magazine board
Remember, you are applying for a job, so make sure that
you are presenting your best. You might want to check out
the job qualifications before beginning your portfolio.
4. Students will present that portfolio to a board of advisors
and be scored based on a student created rubric of job
qualifications.
Resources
cameras and computer access
Products
final portfolio
Grouping
Independent Study
Extensions
Students can upload their pictures to Lulu.com where they can
have them professionally printed and framed. Students can also
enter their photos into the Kodak Kids Photo Contest.
Differentiation/
Ascending Levels of
Intellectual Demand
Each student has a choice as to how they will put their portfolio
together. They can do a website, a notebook, a poster board, or any
other tool approved by the teacher.

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