Friday, July 18, 2014

B-Roll, Photo Collages, and Writing and Math Prompts

A stray cat in my neighborhood.
I named him Geoffrey. 
One of the strategies that I frequently recommend to teachers as a way to help students avoid any copyright issues in their work is to use media from a classroom b-roll gallery. You can build this gallery by having students contribute pictures to a shared Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox folder. Students can add pictures from their mobile devices or contribute public domain images that they have found online.

Besides being a good place to find images to use in multimedia projects, having a b-roll gallery of images could be a good source of writing prompts. Students who struggle to get started on a descriptive writing assignment could benefit from looking through a gallery of interesting images. For example, the picture in this post inspired me to create a very short story about a lost cat.

Students who struggle to get started on a descriptive writing assignment could benefit from first creating a photo collage about the event or concept that they need to write about. In thinking about the images that they select, they're also thinking about what they will say about each image. PicCollage and PicMonkey are two good options for creating photo collages.

Earlier this year I wrote about the Math Photo A Day project. That project is over, but you could create your own Math Photo A Day project in your school. The project asks students to take photographs of things representing various topics and concepts in elementary school level mathematics. For example, a challenge that you could give to students is to take pictures of objects that have specific shapes in them. This could be a homework assignment that students do with their parents or you could make it a classroom assignment.

Another approach to the Math Photo A Day project is to take pictures of examples of bad math in the real world. Use those photos as the prompt for simple mathematics lessons. Read more about this idea in Fun With Bad Math In Pictures.