While our new teachers in the 2011-12 Class of LTP (soon to be officially announced!) are out and about taking photographs as part of the first activity of the workshop, I thought I would share with you what we’ve been working on all morning.
The day began with everyone in the room introducing themselves and telling the group one word they associate with WRITING and one word they associate with PHOTOGRAPHY.
Some of the responses for Writing included: Passion, Challenging, I don’t like it, Love, Infinite possibilities, Creative, Heart, Ideas, Truth, Storytelling, Documentation.
For Photography some said: Not my favorite, Fun, Truth, Taking, Capture, Diversity, Small moment, Love and Documentation.
This was done to not only take attendance, but to get a sense of where everyone stood in their feelings towards, and association with writing and photography. This is an easy way to assess your classroom before introducing them to LTP to find out what they think now about photography and writing, and how those feelings and perceptions might change over the course of working with the LTP.
We spent the morning learning basic steps for investigating images and language by reading photographs, talking about concrete details (exact objects, people and things you can see) to what those concrete details inferred about the content and intentions of the image. We looked at photographs by Helen Levitt and Vivian Meier, two wonderful photographers to use as reference when introducing students to photography. We then asked our teachers to share their point of view in the image by telling first person stories drawn from the details and inferences we had just discussed.
Following that exercise, we turned the tables, listening to poetry and learning how to identify the words and phrases that help to unravel meaning in poetry, discussing as a group how to turn language into image.
Now to the task at hand, our teachers are creating self-potraits by working in groups to find or construct a photograph describing who they are based on a free write exercise. I am anxious to see what they come back with!