Getting Down with the Alphabet

by Susan McMahon-Dyogi

Slideshow of Student Work


Step 1  Photography Lesson (1 to 2 weeks)

-Using ESPN Sport, or a similar magazine that makes great use of photography, the students will look through the magazine and choose pictures that impress them. They must be able to tell the rest of the class why their picture was impressive. What did the photographer do to catch the eye of the reader?

-The teacher will show some of his/her own pictures/selections and explain some good photography techniques. Two excellent books are Olympic Portraits, Annie Leibovitz and National Geographic Photography Field Guide...Secrets to Making Great Picture, Peter K. Burian and Robert Caputo.

-The students will go on the Internet and learn more about Digital Photography. One site I have used is Surfing the Net with Kids...Digital Photography: .

Another good site is:

Step 2 Training on Digital Camera

The teacher trains the students on how to use the digital camera. Discuss lighting, framing and composition. Numerous photography assignments are giving in the weeks to come. Some examples would be students need to take pictures showing motion, what sound looks like, capturing emotion, and making use of shadows.

Step 3 Take Lots of Pictures (for alphabet project)

The students literally need to take hundreds of pictures of their "letters". Do not limit the number of pictures, it gives the students lots of time to become more and more creative. You will be shocked in what they see/visualize.

Step 4 Vote

As a class, display and vote on pictures. Have a form for the students to fill out and write their opinions.






What makes this picture special?:


Step 5 Again...Take Lots of Pictures


 Step 6 Vote

As a class, display and vote on pictures. Have a form for the students to fill out and write their opinions.

Step 7 Training on Adobe Photoshop

Students and teachers can get training on the following web sites and, or Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book.
A teacher could also invite a local graphic artist or photographer to work with the students. (I invited a local photographer and she was awesome!)

Step 8 Edit Pictures Using Adobe Photoshop

Let numerous students edit pictures. Each picture will look very different. Again vote on the pictures.

Step 9 Choose Medium

Print on various mediums and let the students choose what they like best....glossy or flat?

Step 10 Put Project Together

-on a web site

-in a book

-as an i-movie

-as a slide show