*Photography Field Trip


By Harriet Teplitzky: Educator

From the ancient "camera obscura" to the modern day digital camera, taking pictures has fascinated people. Children, in particular, love the idea of capturing images on film. To their young sensibilities, there is something magical about the photographic process and the re-creation of their world with a camera and film.

This module about Photography utilizes Internet resources to introduce the principles, tools, and techniques of photography to young children in Grades 2-5. Photography is inter-disciplinary. It includes the following content areas:

  • Science: light; color; basic optics
  • Art: principles of design and composition; viewing and appreciation of photographs
  • Social Studies: the development of the camera and the photographic process; photographs as historical documents; photojournalism and current events
  • Language Arts: sequencing; photo essays; criticism & evaluation; creative writing
  • Technology: Internet search techniques; Web navigation; computerized photo manipulation; the future of photography

The Web is replete with information about photography. The stops on the Teacher Resource Tour take you to many excellent Web sites that can help you implement a cross-curriculum unit on photography with your class. The last stop on the tour is from the Yahoo index. It provides you with an enormous number of additional photography related web sites to use in your teaching.

Several of the stops on the Photography Tour are "interactive." Children should be encouraged to try the various simulations that illustrate photographic principles. There is, however, a wide range of reading levels represented, and younger students may need assistance.

In the Teacher's Resources section, you will find projects that can be used with your students. Many of them have directions and lesson plans located at additional Web sites.


  • To understand the characteristics and properties of light
  • To learn how a camera, film, and darkroom work
  • To learn about the history of photography
  • To learn how to operate a camera and take photographs
  • To understand the elements of composition in photography
  • To relate photography to the study of history, art, science and current events



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