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Digital Dynamite

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Keywords: digital photography, photography
Subject(s): Photography, Art
Grades 6 through 8
School: Greer Middle School, Greer, SC
Planned By: Louise Rogers
Original Author: Louise Rogers, Greer
Time Required: Approximately 10 class sessions
Objective: Students will be able to take "good" photographs by applying the elements and principles of design.
Plans: A photographer will teach my eighth grade students to use digital cameras during one week of photo emphasis. Prior to those days, I will be reviewing the elements and principles of art. The visiting artist will emphasize the elements and principles of art as they pertain to photography. Following this week, these students will go on a field trip to a local downtown area. During the day, students will take every available digital camera (which means that they will be sharing cameras in groups of three) and apply their new skills and knowledge taking photographs. Every student will be expected to take at least ten photographs. Parents will serve as chaperones. Upon return to the school, students will be required to reflect about their experiences by choosing their top two photographs, saving them to their own files and printing them out. They will also be required to individually answer the question,“What makes a photograph good?” A final component of the unit will be an art show of two photographs from each student. Families will be invited to view student work. Best of Show ribbons will be awarded based on anonymous student votes.
As a part of their responsibilities and to give leadership opportunities, these eighth graders will be expected to then teach my other students photography skills and the corresponding application of art elements and principles. This education will take place after the initial training.
A successful project will be one in which my eighth graders apply their newly acquired knowledge and skills of digital photography not just on the day of the field trip but during the subsequent training times for their younger peers. Their grasp of the elements and principles of art will be evident in their photographs and in their peer training. Formal evaluations will include the major assessment of their two printed photographs and minor assessment of their reflections. I will informally assess their peer training and we will do an informal class critique.
The SC state standards addressed in this grant include:
Component 1- Aesthetic Perception
A. Recognize Design Elements
B. See Underlying Structure
Component 2- Creative Expression
A. Use Artistic Skills in a Variety of Media and Technology
B. Develop and Present Personal Work
Component 4- Aesthetic Valuing
A. Recognize the Role of the Artist and Career Opportunities
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students who have the photography training may use their skills in other classes for various projects.
Students who have the photography training may help with yearbook and newspaper activities.
Materials: Camera/Video Accessories, Point and Shoot, Digital Cameras
Other Items: 3 Olympus STYLUS-7010, $199.00 each, total of $597.00