Apiary Magazine

This past October I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Lillian Dunn of Apiary Magazine during a workshop with the Philadelphia Writing Project at Penn.

Apiary Magazine is a FREE, curated literary magazine released twice a year  in print and online that includes  a wide variety of writing and visual art from across Philadelphia. It is suitable for ages 13 and up AND can include writing and visual arts by students 13 and up! With that said…

ATTENTION Learning Through Photography at Moore educators! Be sure to favorite this website and keep up with their submission deadlines. Apiary is a wonderful opportunity for your LTP students to showcase the work, both visual and written, that is happening in your classrooms!

Visit the APIARY Magazine submission page for more information. You will find a section for Youth Submissions with important details and guidelines. Good luck!



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.

Angel Hogan @ Esperanza

Angel Hogan, a Philadelphia-based poet is working with Zafka Christensen and her students at Nueva Esperanza Academy Charter High School as their teaching artist for the LTP Project. As a workshop leader in storytelling at First Person Arts and with experience also at Art Sanctuary, Angel worked with students yesterday on a Thesaurus Brainstorm to begin her activity.

She began by having each student stand, introduce themselves and say “ONE thing that we would not know by looking at you.” She gave an example, introducing and talking about herself and then recited Perkasie Dirt to present the idea that understanding someone may not necessarily mean that they really/truly understand who you are.

A Thesaurus Brainstorm takes eight commonly used words that students would most likely use during a writing exercise about themselves, and as a group, they brainstorm synonyms for these 8 words.  The eight words chosen included: Nice, Bad, Like, Good, Great, Fun, Love, and Happy. Below is the list is synonyms that students came up with:

The words on the list, along with a few others, were written on paper and placed in an Inspiration Bag which students pulled 2 words from to write a headline of a story. Imagining themselves as “reporters,” once a headline had been created, students wrote one-paragraph first-person stories describing something interesting or intriguing about the person. What makes them unique? Why are they important to you? In what way do they influence your life?

Next week the students will share their stories, and discuss editing, designing and connecting their stories to a photograph.

LTP Workshop @ Moore with Katie Hyde

This past Friday and Saturday, March 18 and 19 Katie Hyde, Director of Literacy Through Photography at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, was at Moore for a 2-day workshop for Moore Art Education faculty and students who will be participating in our program this fall and beyond.

Katie shared recent work from Tanzania where LTP is currently being introduced to schools in Arusha and took us through sample lessons based on LTP that have been used in classrooms in Durham schools.  Not only are these intensive workshops a wonderful opportunity to learn hands-on how to apply LTP teaching tools in your classroom, but they allow for teachers and students to work collaboratively, learn from one another and share best practices, and just as importantly, learn more about one another.

Katie’s work with Moore teachers and students has been crucial to shaping LTP: The Philadelphia Project, and after this weekend I am thrilled to continue work on establishing our LTP program at Moore. Below are photos from our workshop and feature in-classroom work as well as documentation of our time spent photographing in the city…enjoy!

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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.

Responses to reading photographs @ William Cramp

Melanie Pawlowski, an art education student at Moore is completing her student teaching hours in Kim Gavin’s classroom at William Cramp Elementary. She brought me a few samples of student writing from LTP that are included in her collection of student artwork currently on view in the Art of Student Teaching Exhibition at Moore.

Back in January, students went through an exercise that myself along with participating teachers completed during our LTP training with Katie Hyde: investigate a black and white photograph and write and discuss as a group about what you see, i.e. people, signs, objects, buildings, etc. Then, think about what you DON’T see or about what is IMPLIED in the photograph. Ask yourself questions such as: What do you think is happening outside the edge of the frame? Based on what you see, what is the possible time period or setting? What do you think happened just before, or could happen just after the photograph was taken? Write down your answers in the form of a first-person or third-person short story or narrative and then share that story with the group/class.

Ms. Gavin’s class looked at this famous photograph by Dorothea Lange and completed the critical thinking exercise described above:

Below are two examples of student responses to Dorothea’s iconic image:


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.