Photo / Essay


Combining photos and written work engages an audience in a deeper connection of subject material. This lesson's focal point is on story, both visual and written. Mixed together they create a powerful messaging tool.


While the proverb reads that pictures are worth 1000 words, helping students find those 1000 words are often difficult. This lesson, and the subsequent associated with this project will combine story writing and photography analysis to help students create vivid imagery and expressive stories that compliment the images taken. Students completing this project will be expected to be able to analyze photo essays, determine their own cultural influences on storytelling, how digital tools can be used to shape thought, and the deep rooted ethics in photojournalism.

Prerequisites: Classroom must have computer/internet access.

Lesson Times

1 Class Period

Industries / Subjects / Grades

Industries / Pathways
  • Arts, Media, and Entertainment Arts, Media, and Entertainment
K-12 Subjects
  • Visual Arts & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts
  • Technology Education

Standards and Objectives


California English Common Core Standards (1)
California's 2013 CTE Standards (2)

Related Instructional Objectives (SWBAT...)

  • Students will be able to explain how using photos in an essay enhances the message.
  • Students will be able to analyze a photo essay for not only content but for bias.

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