Technology Jungle Gym (3 of 6): Cameras and Images

What can’t you do with a picture today?  Have a camera ready at all times.

While the standard slideshow has become as easy as taking pictures and dragging and dropping them in a program (Animoto, Picasa Web Albums, PhotoPeachShutterfly, Smilebox, Windows PhotoStory and more… to name a few) that does the work for you, there is still so much more creativity that can be used with images in the classroom.

Most teachers at the very least take pictures of their students and display them doing work individually, in groups, and on field trips or special days/events at school.  Many even post these photos to their blog or newsletters or clip them outside their classroom.

I think we can take photos to the next level and use photo in authentic ways.  Start being purposeful in your picture taking for starters and not always spur of the moment or moment capturing events.  Here are some ideas you may want to try:

  • Trading Cards – for biographies, students in class, subject matter (i.e. a card for each part of a plant cell), historical events summaries (Dust Bowl, Depression, Boston Tea Party), Math terms or word (tessellations, polyhedrons) and even with writing (commas, semi-colons, declarative sentences)… you get the idea.
  • Post Cards – make your own and have the students write the captions and format their look and style or simply take photos of your students and send to them at Thanksgiving with a personalized message/photo.


  • Movie Poster – most of us love movies and have seen movie posters that give a snapshot about a movie.  Why not get students to do this for events at school or in class, or even better, how about subject matter they recently learned (i.e. How would a movie poster look for a unit on Germs? Title, Hookline, Actors, Producers, etc).  What about a poster about each student (showcasing their talents) as if a documentary were made about them.  Then display them outside your room as if students were entering a theater and that is what would be playing that week in class.

  • Magazine Covers – We all see the covers at the grocery stores and bookstores, but rarely do we read the magazine unless the cover peaks our interest.  Create covers about your students, subjects they are studying, use it as a newsletter and feature different aspects of your class.  Magazines covers (subtitles within) are good teasers for parents to ask questions about what is going on in class.  How about a specific magazine about a historical event with sepia-tone photos?
Just as I have posted some examples on this blog, you too may upload your creative works to websites or print them out.

More sites to help you be more creative with photos
http://bighugelabs.com/
http://www.befunky.com/
http://www.picnik.com/

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