A Note to Teachers

This website is designed to give you, as teachers, flexibility in how your classroom interacts with the 10 iconic news photos that are presented. The main objective is to facilitate a greater understanding of visual rhetoric, and to assure your students that it is not as tough of a concept as they might at first believe.

Depending on your discipline and teaching style, you might decide to focus only on certain questions in the material from the Center for Media Literacy. Part 3 offers good fodder for in-class discussion, while Parts 4 and 5 are tougher, and you might want to model responses for making assignments.

You might decide the main object of study is photo composition and the photojournalist as storyteller. You might bring in photos of your own choosing that merit study. You might decide to skip written analysis of visual rhetoric entirely and focus on the additional readings and videos.

Does your class consist of budding photojournalists? They might enjoy discussions of the decision-making and visual argumentation that went into each of the featured photographs. They might gain greater insights into the work of photojournalists and what it would be like to walk in their shoes at these various historic moments. If you are teaching at the high school level or below, you might consider asking students to compile short biographies — with images — of famous photojournalists.

By creating a WordPress blog, my hope is that students will like the participatory and interactive nature of it, that they will enjoy adding their comments “live,” and waiting for classmates to respond. But you might decide for your classroom that in-person discussions or seminars work better, or that you want your students to respond via a typed and printed essay.

Please let me know how the website is working for you by responding in the comments section of this page.


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