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How to Make an Absolutely Awesome High School Photography Curriculum

Do you teach photo classes? Do you need a curriculum map for this year? You’ve come to the right place! Teaching photography is a lot of fun! But if you don’t have a plan to help you keep track of where you’re going, it is very possible that you’ll get a little lost in the middle of the semester.

In the last post, I spoke at length about graphic design curriculum examples, in this post, we’re tackling high school photography! Just like in the last post, I’ve got a free curriculum map overview for one full semester of intro to photography and it lays out which standards go with each unit according to the National Arts Standards. There are few more units in this curriculum because they tend to be a bit shorter than the graphic design ones. Enjoy! 

NOTE: This curriculum uses DSLR cameras, but many of the units may be completed without them.

 

 

NOTE: I have given you links to each of the units I’ve created below. The units themselves are available for sale, but if there are videos associated with the units, they will be free for you to view.


Famous Photographer PresentationThis is an ongoing unit. Students choose from a list of famous photographers and research their life work. Students will present their research toward the end of the semester. I use this unit as a “work on this if you have everything else done” project.

Photo AssignmentsThis is also an ongoing unit. Introduce a new photo assignment weekly and give them a full week to complete it (don’t forget to give them reminders! They’ll need them!)

Legal Issues in PhotographyThis unit gives students a basic knowledge about the rights of photographers. They will explore some real life photography court cases.

Camera HistoryWhat is a camera? Where did it come from? These and other origin questions about photography will be explored in this unit.

ExposureAfter a week or two of background information, it is finally time to explore the camera. In this unit, students will explore the manual camera parts.

Digital Camera BasicsThis unit explores the different types of cameras. Everything from the phone camera, to the point and shoot, to the high quality DSLRs.

Photo CompositionThis unit shows students how to take quality photos (no matter what kind of camera they have).

Introduction to PhotoshopSo they know how to take pictures, now they need to know how to edit them! This unit explores the basics of Photoshop.

Colorize a Black and White PhotoStudents will learn how to use selection and color tools in Photoshop.

Restore Damaged PhotoApplying previous knowledge, students will bring in a damaged photo from home and learn how to restore them (I also provide images if they don’t have any).

Cut Out BackgroundStudents will learn how to cut the background out of one image and place the subject into another picture. This unit explores the use of selection tools and masks.

Still Life PhotographyThis unit shows students how to control light through still life photography.

Time LapseThis unit gives students the chance to practice their masking skills as they combine several photos together into one.

Magazine CoverThis unit will allow students to apply their knowledge of Photoshop and photography.

Historical You (paired with Famous Photographer project)This is a short, fun assignment where students use images from their famous photographers and mask their faces onto the bodies of those in the images.

Final ExamStudents will apply previous knowledge to show you what they’ve learned through a couple of short application projects.


And that completes one semester of digital photography! If you ALSO would like to see an example of a photo syllabus, click here!

As promised, below is a sample curriculum map for you, click the button and enter your email!