Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Seven days, seven pictures - A project

In the university

I once did private lessons with a student who apartment had a stunning view of the sea here in Thessaloniki. Every time I went there I was amazed by the vista that his living room room offered. Yet when I commented on this he struggled to understand why I was so excited. I think that the same is true for the way many of us see our lives. We think that they are just the same as everyone else's and therefore seem a little mundane when in fact quite the opposite is true.

Here is a teaching activity which should reawaken our student's interest in their environment and give them a sense of how different their lives really are. The inspiration for this came from www.adayinthelife.org (alas, under construction at the moment) whose basic premise is that a different person from around the world takes a picture that illustrates his or her everyday life each day for a week.

"Publisher Jon Setzen from Brooklyn, N.Y., laments, "I'm upset that we haven't had anyone from Africa." He does have riveting shots of a "security wall" in the West Bank, "communist lunacy" in Romania and a woman cleaning a Wal-Mart gun display in Alabama. "I tell people not to send me arty shots," he says. "I think it's much more interesting to see the mundane aspects of everyday life around the world." And it is."

The Best Photo Blogs - Forbes.com

Lesson Plan

1 Ask students to write down five everyday events that happened during the previous week. e.g. I went out to dinner with my parents, I saw a DVD with my friends etc, I had an exam etc.

2 In pairs, students ask each other questions about the events mentioned.

3 Now ask them to think about if and how people in other countries do these everyday things.

4 Now go through the project guidelines;

a Take a pictures everyday for a week that illustrates your life.

b The pictures can be taken with a digital camera or mobile phone.

c All pictures should be put on the internet with a title and a description that explains what is happening so that somebody who doesn't live in Greece will understand the context.

d You can use a Flickr set, blog, Bubbleshare, Slide.com, Slideshare etc to present your photos.

e Students vote for the best project.

f Optional: Create a blog/wiki and post all the projects in one place.

I'm going to be doing this myself over the next week. So why don't you check out this post next Tuesday ?

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