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Photography and News

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Language Arts And English +6 Age Level High School (16 to 18 years old)

Guiding Questions:

  • How much of a story can a photo tell? What are the limits?
  • Why do journalists take photos?
  • How is news photography different than other types of photography? What is photojournalism?

Time- 1-2 class periods with optional extension activities

This collection provides an opportunity for students to consider a first impression of news photos through careful image analysis. The initial viewing of the image is followed by reading historical newspaper articles or other primary sources about the event in question to compare their thinking with some context to their initial impressions. Images can be powerful and can greatly influence our impression of events, but without context, we can form inaccurate impressions based on our own biases. Students need to be careful and critical viewers of media as well as media creators. Images include events covered in history/social studies courses such as the Civil Rights Movement, Little Rock Nine, World War II, Japanese internment,  9/11, the Detroit Riots, the Scopes trial, women’s suffrage, Dolores Huerta and United Farm Workers, and the Vietnam War.

Day 1:

Warm Up/ Engagement:

Have students journal or a mind-map about the following questions:

  • How much of a story can a photo tell? What are the limits?
  • Why do journalists take photos?
  • What is photojournalism?
  • How is news photography different than other types of photography?

Have them do a Think-Pair-Share

Debrief as a whole group

As a whole group, discuss the photo of the female students who integrated Central High School in Little Rock. Do not show the caption to students. The global competency thinking routine, “Unveiling Stories,” is good to use for news or other current event photos because it allows students the opportunity to explore multiple layers of meaning.

Once students have discussed the image, show them the caption. Then give additional background on the Little Rock Nine. To review/background on the Little Rock Nine, consider exploring resources from Facing History and Ourselves. There is a New York Times article listed below as well.

Next, go back and look at photo with the caption and see how the initial understanding has shifted with the Connect-Extend-Challenge routine. This is a thinking routine that is great for connecting new ideas to prior knowledge.

Day 2

Have students read the article from the Click! Exhibit, “Photography Changes How We Read the World.”

After reading, lead students through the What Makes You Say That? Routine which encourages interpretation with justification and evidence.

Small Group Jigsaw activity

In pairs or small groups, assign one image in the collection to each group. Make sure they know they will present their findings to the whole class. Have them go through the “Unveiling Stories” routine with their new image. Give students 10 mins to record their thoughts and ideas on chart paper or sticky notes. Next, give each group the related primary source news article (listed below through ProQuest) or your choice of a primary source. Have students read the article together. Then, have them go back to the image and do the Connect-Extend-Challenge routine while visualizing their thinking on the same chart paper or with additional sticky notes.

Have each group share out and summarize their findings from their initial reaction to how their thinking changed after reading an additional primary source.

As a final debrief, make sure that students reflect on their learning from their image analysis.

A great reflection routine is “I used to think… Now I think…”. Have students complete this routine with the topic of photojournalism/news photography.

Extensions

Readings:

Audio:

Exhibit:

Project:

  • Report on an event with images and in writing  

Companion Article Sources on ProQuest Historical Newspapers:

For 9/11 Photos-

A CREEPING HORROR

KLEINFIELD N R

New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 12, 2001;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. A1

For D-Day Photo:

Allies Seize Beachheads on French Coast, Invasion Forces Drive Toward Interior

By the War Editor of The Christian Science Monitor

The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file); Jun 6, 1944; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Christian Science Monitor (1908 - 2001) pg. 1

For Detroit Riot Photo:

Detroit Is Swept by Rioting and Fires; Romney Calls In Guard; 700 Arrested

New York Times (1923-Current file); Jul 24, 1967;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Vietnam Withdrawal Photo:

A Farewell to Vietnam: 2 Flown Out Tell Story

New York Times (1923-Current file); Apr 28, 1975;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Dolores Huerta Photo:

Farm Labor Law Chances Improve

By Susan Jacoby Washington Post Staff Writer

The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973); May 2, 1969; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1998) pg. A24

For Little Rock Photo:

STUDENTS ACCEPT NEGROES CALMLY

By BENJAMIN FINE Special to The New York Times.

New York Times (1923-Current file); Sep 26, 1957;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011)

For WWII/D-Day Photos:

PARADE OF PLANES CARRIES INVADERS

New York Times (1923-Current file); Jun 6, 1944;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Scopes Trial Photo:

DEFENSE CASE IS OUTLINED

Special to The New York Times.

New York Times (1923-Current file); Jul 16, 1925;

ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2011) pg. 1

For Women’s Suffrage March Photo: WOMEN PARADE FOR SUFFRAGE AT CAPITAL

The Christian Science Monitor (1908-Current file); Mar 3, 1913; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Christian Science Monitor (1908 - 2001) pg. 1

#visiblethinking