2012 LTP exhibition card cover chosen!

Congratulations to Mia Vega, 9th grade student at the Arts Academy at Benjamin Rush!

Her  poem Run Away Now, Dear and accompanying photograph were chosen for the cover of this year’s LTP student exhibition announcement card. Cards will be distributed in the next few weeks and exhibitions open at the end of July.


Printing Printing Printing

The last two weeks I have been traveling around the city, gathering our students’ photographs for formatting and printing. Needless to say the craziness is just beginning as we prepare final works for the exhibition and publication!

Over the next few weeks as we are busy printing, our blog will showcase writing samples and photographs taken by participating students from different classrooms as a sneak peek at what you will see during the exhibition. Some of these images you will see were chosen by students to be part of the exhibition while others were simply one of many taken during the course of the project.

This week will feature images by students at Dimner Beeber Middle School, Grover Washington Jr. Middle School and William Cramp Elementary.

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Haiku Lesson @ Esperanza

I finally was able to visit Zafka’s class at Esperanza yesterday and was thrilled to see the photographs and writing her students have been working on! Angel Hogan was also in the class, this time working with students on learning about Haiku.

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that uses THREE lines with alternating syllables or “beats” as Angel described them. “The first line is 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, and the third, 5 again,” Angel informed the class. Students took turns reading aloud sample Haiku poems that Angel brought along to share and discussed as a group the “beats” in each poem; the different visuals created through each poem and what they thought the overall idea was of the different Haiku.

Students were then given their assignment for the remainder of class: chose TWO of the photographs taken of important people in your life and write a Haiku based on the people/places/spaces in your image. I was able to circle the room and speak with some students about their photographs and help them count out the beats of their poems. Zafka, Angel and Tina  assisted all students as they worked through ideas to form their Haiku. It was wonderful to hear them listening to and learning from one another as they determined the best way to express what their photograph meant to them.

I also was given a “sneak peek” at accordion books each student is creating as part of their overall project, dealing with family and the most important people in their lives. Sneaking a few photos myself, you can get a glimpse at the final books that will be on view during the exhibition this May in the slide show below!

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March 22 at Grover Washington

Class began at Grover Washington this week with a free-write exercise. Students were shown a photograph of an elephant chained to a truck or vehicle and asked to write anything about the photo that came to mind.

Below are examples of student responses that were shared out loud with the class. It was very interesting to hear the different ways that students interpreted the image.

As class continued, students continued to download and print their photographs. I was able to take Amir, Shakirah, and Saphia around the school to take photographs for their self portrait projects. All three had very specific things they were looking for as we walked around the school. Amir focused on finding objects that reminded him of the NBA and other sports. Shakirah looked for areas in the school that might illustrate her love of music. Saphia wanted her self portrait photographs to show her peaceful side and interest in nature.

March 15, 2011 @ Grover Washington

Despite having to cut our time short this week , we had a great class at Grover.

We began by looking at examples of storyboards, a concept that students were familiar with from a previous project, looking specifically at examples of car design, fashion design, and a self portraits. We discussed different elements that can make up a storyboard and why artists would chose to works with these different elements. I shared with the class that I was planning a wedding and  showed them an Alice in Wonderland themed storyboard I used as inspiration. I told them that by using this storyboard not only was I able to narrow down my ideas, but I was also able to remember all the ideas I had while in the moment of working on my project.

Next the students, were given the following assignment: “Self-Portrait: My Dreams”

“Picture yourself 10 years from now and create a self-portrait of you,” Celeste told her class. How do you dream yourself in 10 years?”

Step 1: Write on a piece of paper the answer to this question.

Step 2:  Using your camera, create a self-portrait based on your answer.

You can create this self-portrait in several ways:

  1. A fantasy portrait of yourself where you can use props or customs to create a character or scene.
  2. A portrait without yourself in the picture, instead,  select objects and compose a picture to represent you.

Step 3: CREATE A SKETCH: Write your ideas on how you want to appear in the photos and how you want to compose objects in the photos.  Then, gather the props and materials you want to use in your photos. You can ask a friend or family member to participate in this assignment and help you to take photos of yourself.

Step 4: NUMBER OF PICTURES: For each one (a & b) you can take approximately 5 – 7 pictures for a total of about15 pictures for both series “a” & “b”.


At this point, students asked questions about the assignment and some shared a few ideas. Ms. Rodriguez asked the class to start working on a storyboard for the assignment. She explained how they would use the storyboard while taking their photographs at home. Students began drawing and making lists of things they want to include in their dream photograph. This was a great time for  students to really think about where they want to be in ten year and it was very interesting to talk with them about the paths they would need to take to achieve their dreams.

Below are a few more photographs taken during our field trip a few weeks back to share with you. Make sure to check back to see how the “Dream Self-Portraits” are taking shape…I know I can’t wait to see how they visualize their storyboards!

Wow! Grover Washington had a great class this week!

I am really excited to tell you about the class at Grover Washington on March 8, 2011.

This week students chose one of the photographs they took for their – project on our field trip last week. After printing out their photographs we began with a short exercise, looking at examples of photos with strong angles and interesting or different points of view. We discussed how a different angles can affect the information the viewer is given about a particular subject, and about the reasons why photographers chose particular points of view.

Next, students were asked to write from their chosen image, given the option of writing in the form of a diary entry, an invented story, or talk about why they took this photograph and how it relates to them. Once they finished students shared their photograph and writing with the class.

Hansley used very  descriptive  words and phrases such as: “destruction,” “emotionally and mentally devastating” and ended his story with an interesting question, all of which other students in the class responded to and immediately identified in his writing.

Justice wrote that she does not want anyone negative around her and that she is trying something different. She said that the two girls jumping in her photograph represent the idea of reaching goals. A few of the words and phrases other students in the class identified in writing were: joy, sky is the limit, and reaching your goal.

Above are two more examples of images that students choose for this assignment. It is wonderful to see students using different angles and points of view in their photographs.  As continue through this program they are really exploring the idea of how a photograph can tell a story and learning to connect writing with photography.

Reading images and writing with Sandra Andino

This morning in Mrs. General and Ms. Andrews’ class at Grover, Sandra walked the students through an exercise in reading photographs and writing a story. Last week the class was given a homework assignment to bring in one photograph from home. “Choose any photograph you want,” Sandra instructed them, “it can be of yourself, your family, friends or your home. Anything that is important to you and you are interested in.” Some of the students forgot images but Sandra had a few snapshots on hand of her own that she shared with the class. Students who did remember, brought in images of themselves or their siblings and friends taken at special moments such as Christmas and 6th grade graduation.

Below is the photograph that Nadir Carter looked at and wrote about. Nadir wrote: “I think this is a picture of a father giving his son lucky charms and he is telling him what each one stands for. They are in a big field and the Dad said to himself, it’s time you have these son, they have been passed down from generation to generation.”

Here is another example by of the photo Ashley Regalado brought to share with the class and the short story she wrote about it:

Once they finished writing, Sandra instructed them to pass their photograph to the student sitting to their RIGHT. With the new image in front of them, students were asked to write another story or description of what they saw happening in the photograph. Below is the response given to Ashley’s photograph of her and her older sister.

Next week we are going to talk about the similarities and differences in how we see and interpret photographs or situations depicted in images. Then, the best part of the day for the students…CAMERAS! Students will work in groups to learn about the different parts of their new digital cameras and take a few test shots so they can get used to using and properly handling the cameras.