If you’re lucky enough to have digital cameras at your
disposal, here are a few picture-perfect ways to use them.
By Ellen Ullman
1 Produce public service announcements.
Here is a sample Glogster with video and photo
components (not made by the student but
Students can make PSAs about any topic
you choose, such as the environment.
Have them take photos around town and
then use Windows Live Movie Maker 2011
to create the announcements.
2 Study textures.
For a fun art project, have students
take close-up pictures of a variety of
textures, including brick walls and dead
grass. Along the way they can learn
about warm colors, cool colors, and
textures. If you like, they can turn the
pictures into a collage.
3 Do an interactive book report.
Glogster (www.glogster.com) lets
students turn assignments into interactive
extravaganzas. Just add text, images, music, and video
to make Glogs, or posters. In addition to book reports, your
students can make pro-and-con Glogs
about controversial topics, like global
4 Learn about machines.
Take pictures of simple machines
around your school—including levers,
screws, wireless routers, door hinges—
and turn them into a PowerPoint presentation.
A fifth-grade class did a Geometry Hunt and were assigned specific
geometric terms to find and photograph. It became collaborative because
each small group of students was assigned different terms and then became
responsible for teaching those terms to their classmates. Katie Deibele is the
classroom teacher who assigned this project.
5 Go on a scavenger hunt.
Put students in small groups and
give them a list of geometric terms to
find examples of and photograph. Take
the lesson further by asking the groups
to teach their classmates about their
6 Write an autobiography.
Younger students can write a personal
story with which to introduce
themselves to their classmates. Have
them take pictures of their interests, home, family, pets, and
activities; write a story; and put it together using Microsoft
Photo Story or Glogster.
7 Promote healthier habits.
For health class, ask children to develop a healthy
snack and use cameras and Windows Live Movie Maker to
create commercials that they
could use to sell it.
8 Improve scientific skills.
Science teachers can photograph experiments at various
stages and post the pictures on a class blog. That way
students can check out what they missed in class or use the
pictures to study.
A texture collage
9 Act like a CSI.
Take mug shots of faculty and staff to create a schoolwide
CSI event based on a “crime” such as “Who stole Mrs.
Smith’s eraser?” Students can interview faculty suspects, collect
DNA , and turn the mug shots into wanted posters that they
can hang in the hall (along with pictures of the “crime scene”).
10 Lights, camera…
Create Common Craft (www.commoncraft.com)
videos by writing a script, drawing or cutting out pictures,
and putting the drawings or pictures in order. Use a camera
to record, sliding the pictures in and out of view.
Thanks to the following educators for sharing their terrific ideas: Sherry L. Annee, biotechnology instructor, Brebeuf
Jesuit Preparatory School, Indianapolis; Juli Burok, library media specialist, Haldane (NY) Central School District;
Tami Junkermeier, media specialist, Minnetonka (MN) Middle School West; Jill Lebiedzinski, technology teacher, St.
Alphonsus Elementary Catholic School, Maple Glen, PA; Kelli Whiteside, media specialist, Deephaven Elementary,