Selfie Assignment High School

While some students did not have access at the time (wireless and equipment challenges), and some wanted more time to prepare for their “close-up,” this prereading activity was captivating and enjoyable for students. Students’ background knowledge on the subject was acknowledged, and the article and questions posed provided the opportunity for rich discussion, entering the conversation, and connection to the writing task.

Questions posed and then incorporated in a quickwrite were based on those in the Learning Network post, “Why Do We Take Selfies?” They included:

• How often do you take selfies — pictures of yourself — with your cellphone camera and send them to someone, or post them on social media?

• What kind do you take, and what reactions do you usually get?

• Why do you think there has been such an increase in this kind of picture-taking in recent years?

We then read the entire article over a period of a few days, while I printed and created a bulletin board of their selfies as they were sent to me. This display was maintained all year, and provided a forum of self-expression and classroom collaboration.

Students discussed key concepts of the “selfie phenomenon” and responded to the following questions for their writing task:

• Why do we take selfies? How does the selfie differ from a photograph taken by another, and what does this tell us about ourselves and our society?

• Is taking selfies about vanity, about trying to understand how others see you, or about something else? Why do you think people take and share them?

• Do you agree with the person quoted who says, “The idea of the selfie is much more like your face is the caption and you’re trying to explain a moment or tell a story”? Why or why not?

• Do you agree or disagree with the closing statement that selfies can sometimes be “a kind of visual diary?”

• Is the proliferation of selfies changing the way we have online conversations and interactions? How?

Assessment

The culminating assignment was a writing diagnostic utilized as a springboard for literacy and writing instruction across curriculums. A norming and scoring session was held after school with the teachers of core classes joining forces to analyze and determine student proficiency based on the California State University (CSU) English Placement Test (EPT) scoring guide. Teachers reviewed and discussed their observations, with an emphasis on content literacy, equity and Common Core State Standards.

For my current ninth- and 11th-grade English classes, I plan to include the questioning strategy SOAPSTone (Subject, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Speaker, Tone) into the above lessons after a first or second read of the article. We’ll pay particular attention to the O (Occasion), which can sometimes be a challenge, but here can be discerned in the author’s introduction. SOAPSTone provides analysis of an expository text and supports the writing process. It can also be used as a formative assessment for the teacher, to determine whether students are understanding the text in its rhetorical context. The SOAPSTone strategy is an academic approach recommended by AP Central (The College Board), as well as the California State University’s Expository Reading and Writing Curriculum (CSU ERWC), designed for postsecondary success.

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Related

Student Opinion | How Real Are You on Social Media?

Reader idea | Teaching and Learning About Body Image in the Social Media Age

Continue reading the main story

Identity Through Selfies

Assigned: 4/17  Due:  4/23
Do we define ourselves by our beauty or our uniqueness?  
Or is our uniqueness also our beauty?  
What if we learned to take selfies that emphasized our creativity, our uniqueness and also our beauty?  
SELFIES.  We are all guilty of this little pleasure.  Some of us more than others.  As photographers, we have a little power to change the pathetic selfie photo into something more creative, affective and powerful. 
Now is the time to put an end to the horrible selfies.  Now is the time for self-portraits. What will you say?
I DO NOT WANT TO SEE PHOTOS SIMILAR TO THE ONES BELOW!! TAKING A PHOTO IN YOUR BATHROOM MIRROR WITH THE SINK/TOILET IS NOT PHOTOGRAPHY BUT A SNAPSHOT NOR IS TAKING A PICTURE OF YOURSELF IN YOUR CAR WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. BE CREATIVE!!
Your job:  Take 12 self-portraits using each of the ideas below. 

Think about how you can use these techniques to show off who you REALLY are, not just what you look like from a selfie point of view.

Learning Targets:  
  • How can portraits and self-portraits help you think about your own and others’ identity?
  • How can you use close observation skills to feel good about yourself and the people around you?
  • How can you use photographic tools and techniques for self-portraits/selfies?
  • Essential Question:
  • Why do artists create?

For this assignment, you are to submit a total of 12 self-portraits that include 2 photos of each technique below. AS ALL PHOTO ASSIGNMENTS, YOU ARE ONLY ALLOWED TO SUBMIT 6 FINAL PHOTOS THAT WERE TAKEN AT SCHOOL AND THE REMAINING 6 ARE TO BE TAKEN AT HOME. 

1) Utilizing a mirror
2) Utilizing a fun point of view
3) Utilizing props
4) Utilizing written word or drawn images
5) Utilizing a material to disguise part of your face
6)  Utilize electronics for a multiple portrait


**Since this is a self-portrait assignment, you are to be present in the frame in one way or another!! You can recruit a friend to help...set-up the shot and handover your camera to your friend to hit the shutter release button.
LOOK AT THE EXAMPLES ABOVE TO HELP YOU FURTHER UNDERSTAND THE ASSIGNMENT!!!

Utilize your knowledge of composition through rule of thirds, simplicity/close-up/filling the frame and lighting techniques to complete this assignment.

A written reflection and top three photos are required for this lesson.

As always with in-class photo shooting days...stay on task, TAKE PHOTOS versus just talking, first/second floor shooting along with outside shooting is allowed  as long as you stay in close proximity to the school.  Always be respectful of other classes and return back to class 10 minutes before the bell rings. If you are not following these rules, in-class shooting will not be allowed. BE P

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