Subject: Language Arts/Photography
Grade: 2-4 (Gifted)
"Audio-slide shows are great motivations. Cameras have that special magic that makes any project 'click.'"
Then they learned to operate a simple 35 mm camera with the help of a professional photographer who demonstrated how the camera and its parts work and who showed them basic camera techniques. The students carried out their photography activities all around the school, critiqued the developed slides, and retook slides as necessary.
Organizing the reports and slides in logical order proved to give the students the greatest difficulty because they had had little experience in organizing and writing reports. The school's creative writing consultant gave them guidelines to follow in compiling the reports and eliminating redundant language. The students practiced reading their reports and finally taped the narration. When the visual and audio aspects were combined, students viewed "Our School" as a final evaluation-and then they were ready for the open house.
The materials that were required were simple. Students used their own writing supplies, and Mugerauer provided a 35 mm camera and tape recorder. The school's screen and slide projector were used for the final performance. The only major expenses were for slide film and tapes.
The school's lighting situation did turn out to be a drawback.
Students, however, showed their awareness of how background, lighting,
poses, etc., affect the composition of the slides, and the slides
they took were remarkably clear and well focused under the circumstances.
Eventually they learned to deal with the glare from glasses and
many shiny surfaces, but some minor lighting problems remained,
illustrating that the camera has limitations. Student nervousness
surfaced when it was time to tape the reports, but the reactions
of the audience at the open house told them that the finished
product was a hit. The project was especially successful because
it combined academic learning and fun, and it could certainly
be adapted to any group of students in any school.