Telling Stories With Photo Essays: A Guide for PreK-5 Teachers

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This resource offers teachers strategies for helping children create photo essays as a way to communicate their ideas, experiences, and emotions in an authentic and personal way.

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Editorial Reviews

Karen Thomes
"A beneficial reference to working with photo essays with young children.”
David W. Romtvedt
“This book demonstrates the power of the photo essay to help children grow intellectually and emotionally. It includes ideas for a wide array of projects along with plenty of examples of projects students have done in different schools and community settings. The fantastic thing about the book is the commitment to teaching that serves every child—a commitment that arises from a vision of democratic learning.”
Michael Opitz
"Thompson shows as much as tells what photo essays are and how to use them to enhance and extend children’s understanding of their world. Educators will want this book because of the curricular integration, differentiation, and instruction centered on helping children use all components of literacy, including visual representation.”
Rebecca S. Compton
“I really like this book, and I’m eager to use it as a supplement for various methods courses in elementary education and early childhood. I would also use it in a special workshop or seminar class.”
Suzanne Strempek Shea
"Countless students will be forever changed by this fascinating text and its message that the immense power of images enables anyone to say, 'This is where I am, this is what I see. Look at my world through my eyes.'"
Carol Copple
"The authors offer a wealth of ways to engage children in expressing meaning and documenting experiences through photographs. They provide all the practical help teachers need to use this exciting medium to expand children’s ways of perceiving, representing, and thinking about their world."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781412964586
  • Publisher: SAGE Publications
  • Publication date: 9/30/2009
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan Conklin Thompson is a professor at the University of Northern Colorado, where she coordinates the early childhood program and teaches early childhood and elementary education courses. Thompson has authored numerous articles, two multicultural books for children, and eight books for teachers, including Children as Illustrators: Making Meaning through Art and Language (National Association for the Education of Young Children). She has been the recipient of several university awards for teaching excellence and outstanding research and scholarship and in 2001 was awarded the Early Childhood Professional of the Year Award by the Wyoming Early Childhood Association.

Kayenta Williams holds an MFA in creative writing and has worked extensively with English language learners as an elementary ELL teacher. She has authored both fiction and nonfiction work, including an article in Social Studies and the Young Learner entitled “Photo Essays: Using Photography to Tell a Story”, which she co-authored with Susan Conklin Thompson.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors
1. Photo Essays and Children
Photography and Expression
Children as Photographers
2. Developing a Photo Essay
Photo Essays
Captions and Photographs Working Together for Voice
Thinking In-Depth About Captions
Teachers and Photo Essays
Presentation Formats for Photo Essays
Children Presenting Photo Essays
3. Photographs Tell a Story in History
Creating a Historical Photo Essay: The Freedom Trail
Ideas for Historical Photo Essays
4. Personal History Photo Essays
Sample Personal History Photo Essay
Ideas for Personal History Photo Essays
5. Nature Experience Photo Essays
Sample Nature Photo Essay
Ideas for Nature Photo Essays
6. Field Trip Photo Essays
Sample Field Trip Photo Essay
Ideas for Field Trip Photo Essays
7. Overcoming Traumatic Events
Sample Photo Essay of a Tornado
Ideas for Photo Essays Helping Children Deal With Traumatic Events
8. Career Photo Essays
Sample Career Photo Essay
Ideas for Career Photo Essays
9. Integrating Curriculum Photo Essays
Sample Photo Essay of an Integrated Math Activity
Ideas for Integrated Photo Essays
10. Advocacy Photo Essays
Sample Advocacy Photo Essay on Endangered Animals
Ideas for Advocacy Photo Essays
11. Using Photographs to Interpret the Past; Contributing Author Dr. Gary Fertig
Using Photographs to Evaluate the Historical Significance of Change
Using Photographs to Identify Causes and Effects
Using Photographs to Evoke Empathy
Using Photographs to Initiate Historical Inquiry
Summary and Conclusions
12. Assessment and Rubrics
Resource: Standards Alignment
Bibliography of Suggested Children’s Photo Essay Books

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