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Perspectives on a Shoe

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Keywords: Photography, English, Oral Language, Writing
Subject(s): Social Skills, Technology, Special Needs, Writing, Photography, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Speech and Language
Grades 4 through 8
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Francisco Middle School, San Francisco, CA
Planned By: Marna Blanchard
Original Author: Marna Blanchard, San Francisco
Lesson Objectives:
Students Will Be Able T0…
Write a short story from the perspective of an inanimate object
Define and give examples of personification
Shoot a photograph that shows the perspective of an object
Frame a shot

Standards Addressed:
CA ELA Standards 8th grade:
2.1 Write biographies, autobiographies, short stories, or narratives: a. Relate a clear, coherent incident, event, or situation by using well-chosen details.
b. Reveal the significance of, or the writer’s attitude about, the subject. c. Employ narrative and descriptive strategies (e.g., relevant dialogue, specific action,
physical description, background description, comparison or contrast of characters).
Visual Arts Standard 8th grade
Communication and Expression Through Original Works of Art
2.3 Create an original work of art, using film, photography, computer graphics, or video.

Materials Required:
Digital cameras one per group of four students
Computers to download photos onto
Paper and pen
old shoes

Lesson (4 periods)
Opening/Do Now:
Allow students to choose a shoe from the pile (3 min max)
Mini Lessons on perspective and personification (7-10 min)
Have students do a quick write about what that shoe might have seen or experienced
Break students into groups of 4 with a camera
Explain to students that they will be shooting their shoe in a variety of settings that they can create or choose (if you have the luxury of going off campus to the surrounding neighborhood, the photos get more interesting)
Give students 5 minutes to brainstorm available settings or give them props and then let them design potential settings
Once settings have been approved, students will have 20-28 minutes to shoot (approx. 5-7 min. per student)
Once photos are completed have students upload to their computers (If you only have one computer and will need to print out photos this is good time for students to do another quick write as they take turns uploading and then plan on a day two)
Exit Ticket- Upload photos
Homework- Thinking about your photos continue to brainstorm possible storylines
Part 2
Students will chose their best photo to write a story
Give students 30 minutes to write a rough draft of their story
Students will share their rough draft with their team members for verbal feedback on their story (12 minutes - 3 min per students)
Exit Ticket- Rough Draft of Story
Homework- Continue to work on rough draft
Part 3
Mini Lessons on descriptive language and how to add dialogue (7-10)
Students will revise their rough draft incorporating comments from their peers (30 minutes)
Students will meet again with group members to share and comment on their drafts (12 minutes)
Exit Ticket- Revised story
Continue revising second draft
Part 4
Mini Lesson on transitions (5 -7 min)
Students will do a final revision on story (20 min)
Students will share photos and stories at author's chair
Exit Ticket- Final story

My class sizes have been running around 36-38 for the last four years, I need at least one camera per group of 4 students.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
visual arts (photography), writing, social studies (perspective), photo-journalism unit
Continue sharing out the stories and giving students the opportunity to write a different story using another of their photographs or one of their peer's photos
Materials: Digital SLR, Printers, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Inspiration, Dyslexia, Speech and Language
Other Items: 10 Olympus T100 Cameras, $100 each, total of $1000.00
1 Color Printer HP CP1000, $299 each, total of $299.00
10 Tripods Gorilla, $35 each, total of $350.00
36 USB Flash Drives, $5 each, total of $180.00