This site gives a few ideas for projects and one stood out enough to me enough that a) I wanted to try it myself and b) I thought this is also a great potential lesson students could partake in for Art class!
They talk about doing an Alphabet Project where you find different shapes that look like letters, but they are found naturally (or manmade) in society.
The entire alphabet found on Pinterest.
Here are some example photos by a photographer who did this project.
This helps me in my photography project because the site explains that this can help you develop your artistic or creative eye (looking at things in a different way). I may take unique angles of something that ends up looking really cool that I otherwise may not have tried. This also helps me majorly in photography because it helps me narrow down a focus. I can apply all of the learning up to date in this project because it involves taking several photos. I am always wanting to be outside photographing the environment but it is such a big place with endless possibilities and so sometimes when I go out with my tripod I get overwhelmed!
In regards to how this can help me as a teacher: This resource inspired me to think about how I can encourage students to “read” their environment. With young students we could do a nature walk and try to find alphabet letters in the environment (choose word or look for name) and then take some photos to document our findings. Students can get to know community/environmental as well as their English literacy… For example looking at the golden arches and knowing it can be the letter M and the sign for McDonalds. Or looking at a wheel but knowing it also looks like an O.
Older kids could get more independent and do photo collages with phone cameras or borrowed iPads.
I am passionate about getting kids interested in the natural environment and getting them outside when I teach them. I want them to treat their surroundings well and learn to do so by experiencing it and cherishing it enough to know it needs them as much as we need it. After our walks kids can reflect on what they saw (was there garbage strewn about? How many natural things did you use? Manmade? Why do you think natural/manmade was more difficult to find words in?). This lesson could also be applied in Math with identifying different geometric shapes and photographing them.
In this case though, kids have to consciously think about how to form letters and compare.
We could choose one theme like trees or street signs or go really broad and do everything!
I will continue this endeavour using a mix of my different steps of learning (rule of thirds, try new angles, stop motion, lightbox, Adobe photoshop, etc) and creativity/trying new things. I want my final message to be something educational or inspirational… Using letters of photographs. For now I will just keep collecting letters… Whether I see them in trees, whether I get people to pose as letters in portraits, or whether I photograph unique letters on signs. Another cool idea would be cropping parts of photographs I have already done and making a message, to show that photographs always have hidden messages and that the beauty (or in this case usefulness) is in the eye of the beholder.
I did a notepad checklist of the letters I had. When I had enough to make a sentence that could communicate my learning journey, I made one ^ see above. It was tedious trying to get the A, B and C when I could find Hs and Ys everywhere, but I kept at it…
… and the final product. 🙂