Friday, May 10, 2013

Student Photographers

Last week our first graders went on a field trip to the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. My class started at the Jefferson Memorial, walked a long way to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, had lunch, and headed on to the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. After much time there we headed on around to see the George Mason Memorial, then back to the Jefferson to meet the bus. (As it turns out it's only 1.8 miles but it felt like double that.)

My kids had cameras - about one per every two kids, some regular digital cameras and others flips. It wasn't organized, I just gave them to kids and then they passed them around as we traveled.

I've been through their pictures about five times so far (I haven't tackled the videos yet because they intimidate me). The pictures include plenty that are exactly what you would expect - stereotypical shots of the monuments, goofy pictures of each other, lots of pictures of water (the Tidal Basin, the fountains), and ducks.

There's lots of other stuff too though. Here are a few of my personal favorites.

Most of their pictures of the statues are from this angle. It fascinates me.

In case this small image isn't really clear, this is a reflection in a mud puddle. I found the puddles irritating as we walked around them. I love that a student saw them differently.

One darling girl seems to have spent the majority of the trip posing for photos. Here are just a few.

This is probably better than most school portraits.

I think this would be her social media avatar if she were a bit older.

Then we had a few selfies. That is something that was new this year.

This one struck me as a metaphor for something (not an intentional metaphor on the part of a first grader though - although I could be wrong).

And this one just struck me as sweet.

Handing my kids cameras has been one of the greatest things I've done as a teacher.


Alex T. Valencic said...

Okay, this was awesome. AND I learned something new: There are far more presidential memorials and monuments in Washington, DC, than I previously though! (I live in Illinois and have never been, though I hope to some day.)

I am TOTALLY using this idea when my fourth graders go to Springfield, Illinois, next year to visit the Illinois State Museum and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. I love what happens when we let the students use the technology we have on their own!

Jenny said...

Alex, since the trip we've been doing a lot of writing about it (retelling what we did, poems, informational books) and one boy wanted to write about ALL the memorials in D.C. I told him that was way too ambitious. But I love the initiative!

There's a lot more info about what I've done with cameras on this field trip (although from last year), here: if you are interested. I'd love to see what your 4th graders do!