On November 18 and 19, twenty-two school teachers, teaching artists and Moore art education students and faculty participated in all day workshops learning the LTP teaching tools, led by Katie Hyde, director of Literacy Through Photography at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies in Durham, N.C.
Over the course of the two days we followed sample lesson plans using the LTP model, reading images, taking photographs and writing. During the first day we completed a self-portrait lesson, and on the second day completed an alphabet project about community. Below are examples of writing, drawing and photographs created by participants on Day 2 of the workshop.
Community Alphabet Lesson:
The lesson began with drawing a picture of where we grew up. “It doesn’t matter how well you can draw,” Katie informed us with a laugh, hearing the instant sigh from teachers embarrassed by their drawing skills. “Just make sure that you clearly identify the most important parts of your drawing; as long as we can read it we don’t need to be able to recognize it.”
We were asked to draw a picture of our childhood home and were given 10 minutes to write a memory or story about where we grew up. Below is a sample drawing and short story:
“I grew up in half a double with six other people and shared a room with my older sister AnneMarie. We had the second floor room with a bay window with yellow curtains and a huge closet (the ones with the wooden slat folding doors). Since she was older than me, AnneMarie got the built-in dresser covered in floral wallpaper with a mirror on top. I always wanted that dresser. Mine was bright yellow with five drawers with white knobs. I used to put my chewing gum on the one corner of my dresser at night to save it for the next day. AnneMarie hated that. We stored all our Barbies in that big closet and I can’t tell you how many of their shoes were lost in there. But what I remember most is plastering the faux wood panel walls with drawings of penguins, both our favorite animal. I still to this day draw them the same way. We would draw them in inner tubes and surfing at the beach, at school, riding bikes, flying planes and in a million different outfits, covering the room floor to ceiling. My parents must have spent thousands of dollars on crayons and paper!”
As a group we shared a few drawings and stories and then broke apart into groups of three. In these small groups we looked at our drawings, shared our individual stories, and compiled a list of words based on our stories that meant, or felt like “community” and “home.” Once we had a short list, Katie told us that each group would be given 3 letters of the alphabet. We were then told to spend the next 2 hours walking around the city and photographing things, people or places, beginning with our assigned letters, that described “community” and “home.” When we returned we would define our words and write a story or description of our photographs.
One participating teacher given the letter “E” said the word “Excited” meant home to him, because as a kid he was always excited about something. He took the photograph and wrote the definition and short story below.
“EXCITED – adj – to be possessed by joy and anticipation. To loose inhibition and rejoice.”
“We are walking down a busy city street. Mom and Auntie are leading the way. The leaves are all around. I have to find the best ones, so I can throw them at my cousin. He is excited to have his picture take and won’t even know what hit him.”