Jackie Taylor
  This lesson was implemented as part of an Action Research Incentive Grant to help create a work-focused Families First classroom. For our project, learners opened a small business, a photo studio, to gain work skills and to experience how money can be earned. In order for learners to understand the value of their product to the consumer, this learning activity was developed.

  Family literacy, General education development, Consumer education, Sciences, Writing skills

Learner Level:
  Basic skills, grade level 5.0-8.9

Time Frame:
  Several class sessions

Learner Grouping:
  individual, small group, whole class

  This activity was presented to a families First class that met 5 days a week for 4 hours a day. There were 4 learners in the class. Families First is the Tennessee program to provide training for those welfare recipients who lack basic education skills. While learners do work toward a GED, emphasis in these classes is shifting toward the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learners need to acquire and keep a good job.
This activity was one in an entire unit of activities on opening a small business. The focus of this activity was to determine consumer wants and needs by discerning the value of the product to the consumer by observation.

  Not available

  Families First

Type of Program:

Student Population Served:
  Basic skills (grade levels 5-8.9)

Building memories....

Learners 'train their eye' on photography while building memories for their family by creating and layout out the design of a family photo album. __________________________________________________________

Learning Objective:
The learners will demonstrate organizational, communication, and observational skills by creating and laying out the design of a family photo album complete with written reflections.
The learners will determine consumer wants and needs by discerning the value of the product (photograph) to the consumer (their family) by observation.
The learners will examine and identify their feelings regarding their family by writing a response in essay format to be included in the album.

Primary Skill:
Learn through research

Secondary Skills:
Convey ideas in writing, Plan, Communication, Interpersonal

Learner Needs & Goals:
Learners had a variety of past experiences with portraits and portrait making: Some said it had been years since their last family portrait; others stated they never had family pictures made; and some expressed they did not see the value in paying studio prices to get portraits made. None of them kept a family album for their children. Since they were entering a line of work with minimal knowledge, skills and abilities in photography, this activity was designed to build hands-on experience taking pictures while developing an understanding of the value a photograph holds for a potential customer.

Learning Activity Description:
The overall design of this activity encourages learners to reflect on their own family practices, learn new skills and incorporate those new skills into the practice of building memories for their children by making a family album. They will then observe the impact of the family album on family members and record their observations. They will use this new understanding to draw conclusions about the impact of their small business products on consumers.

  1. Ask the learners to think about some of the fondest memories they have as children. Ask how many of them have pictures or once had pictures that captured those precious moments. Discuss the meaning of the term "sentimental value." Would they be able to throw these photos away today? Ask those who do not have pictures of those special memories how much it would be worth to them today if they could buy pictures of those long ago memories. Discuss answers.

  2. Discuss the magazine clippings or actual photos you have gathered as examples of good vs. poor photography. Option: have the learners bring in their "best" photos to share with the group.

  3. Give each learner a roll of film, or a disposable camera if they do not own a camera at home. Ask them to shoot the roll of film of their immediate family only.

  4. Take the film to a quality developing lab. (Ask for a school discount!)

  5. Spend a day with a photographer or other photo industry professional. Discuss photography careers and techniques used to take good photos.

  6. After the field trip or guest speaker, have the learners shoot a second roll of film of their family, experimenting with new techniques, perspectives, or ideas.

  7. Ask learners to organize their photos in an album, using index cards to write captions for each photo. Provide sentence starters to prompt reflective writing. Do not use albums with the cellophane overlaying a sticky background as they do not preserve the quality of the photograph. Use albums with pocket inserts instead.

  8. Using markers, colored pencils, and/or clip art, have the learners design a cover page for their album, encouraging them to be creative. Provide creative examples.

  9. Ask the learners to write an essay, responding to the statement: Twenty years from now, if you could look back to today and tell your children about how your love endured for them despite events you were struggling with at the time, what would you say? What little things did they do that made you happy? What put a smile on your face? What made you proud? How were they important in your life? How much do you love them still?

  10. Upon completion of the albums, give the learners an observation sheet to take home with them. Explain to them that they are going to conduct scientific research. Ask learners to hypothesize what they think their family's reactions to the album will be. Ask them to record the frequency in which the album is accessed, and by which family members. Ask learners to record any outstanding comments. The data will be collected for a week, after which the learners will create a graph of their data. Did the results support their hypothesis? Why or why not? Did the results change their opinion of the overall importance of family albums? Why or why not?

Materials and Resources:

Attachments: (For Internet Explorer users, right click on link then choose "Save target as". For Netscape users, just hold down the shift key and click on the link.)

Pictures gathered from magazines, newspapers, or from their own collection to use as examples of good vs. bad photography.

Objectives 1-3 would be met by the learners upon completion of a family photo album, an observation record sheet, and the completion of a written essay that will be included in the album.

If I had it to do over again, I would spend the extra dollar to buy learners a well laid out photo album. Although I did purchase a pocket photo album, there was no place in the album to store the negatives. Also, the pages were bound into the album, instead of being locked in place by a ring binder. This format does not allow one to insert extra pages or an envelope to hold negatives.


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