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social image - DP Start Up Kit

Last week I sent out a “teacher’s toolkit” for starting the year for graphic design including enough resources to help you get through the first week of school. This week, I am going to take a slightly different approach. 

We’re talking about teaching photography this week and I’ll be discussing the merits of “anchor projects” instead of giving you materials to get through the first week of school.

An anchor project is something that students can do as they finish with other projects. It is a “this is what you do when you don’t have anything else to do” project. This way you don’t have to worry about kids asking if they can play games on their phone when they finish their main project. (Because they always have something that they can do!)


Rule of thirds
Example for using the “Rule of Thirds”


Each year, I have students do weekly photo assignments. For me, it seems best to assign them on Mondays and discuss it. Then, they have the full week to actually take the pictures and turn them in on the following Monday. 

It gives me a chance to give out reminders during the week to help them remember what they have to do. If students happen to take their pictures during the week (it depends on the group of kids as to whether or not this happens), then they can share what they did when they come in. 

The photo assignments that I choose are a very simple set of assignments. They are photo prompts that can be done whether you live in the flat Kansas plains or in the Mountainous Colorado landscape; whether you have some high end DSLRs or a simple point and shoot.


Macro Mode
Example of using macro mode with objects around the house


At first, your students won’t have a lot they could do. But as the year goes on, they will have an arsenal of images that they could play around with in Photoshop as they finish other assignments. I like to send students to this tutorial website that has several written instructions for students to work through. 

I also like to give extra credit for each tutorial that they finish. The tutorials on the website linked above are usually numbered, so I give points based on the number of steps that they complete.

It’s also helpful to have some kind of bell work activity. I created a set of articles (with worksheets included) centered around Latino photographers that you are welcome to use.

As the school year looms ever closer, it’s good to have some tools to help you feel prepared and confident! Feel free to download all the resources mentioned above by entering your email below!