Lesson Plans

Everyday DC: Lesson 7

Everyday DC

Students and parents at the Everyday DC 2017 photo exhibition opening. Image by Evey Wilson. United States, 2017.

Students and parents at the Everyday DC 2017 photo exhibition opening. Image by Evey Wilson. United States, 2017.


Students will be able to:

  • create individual photo stories
  • create a collaborative photography exhibition

Materials Needed:

  • Paper (optional: cardstock, or heavier paper, for presentation quality)
  • Pens


  • Computer and printer access to type and print the text pieces

Final Individual Project:

Students individually create a five-photograph story to share D.C. from their perspectives. Students look through the photos they have taken in and out of class as part of the unit. They select and order images to tell different photo stories. Students caption their photos and turn the photo story in as their individual performance task.

Final Collaborative Project:

Students will then collaboratively curate a class exhibition that includes one photo from each student. Teacher guides students to identify elements of an exhibition (e.g. wall text, title). In small groups, students select and order images from among their individual shots to create an exhibition base on a shared narrative or topic of inquiry.

Students write a title to describe their exhibition, and write the accompanying wall text for the exhibit they created with the members of their group. These can be typed if desired.

This project can be displayed on a wall in the classroom or at an approved location in the school, if desired.

Optional Extensions:

Photos may also be shared by the Pulitzer Center through posts on the education blog. The center is also willing to promote individual school exhibitions in support of this unit.

One student representative from the class can be selected to work with a group of DC students to curate a district-wide photo exhibition that represents student perspectives of living in DC.

There are also opportunities to connect with students in cities and counties across the United States through the Pulitzer Center education team.

Educator Notes: 


Collaboratively prepare and present selected theme based artwork for display, and formulate exhibition narratives for the viewer.


Collaboratively shape an artistic investigation of an aspect of present-day life using a contemporary practice of art and design.


Demonstrate awareness of ethical responsibility to oneself and others when posting and sharing images and other materials through the Internet, social media, and other communication formats.

The Everyday D.C. cornerstone unit is an opportunity for students to apply photography, photo analysis, and investigative reporting skills to the creation of photo essays that reflect their everyday realities as residents of Washington D.C. Students will create group photo exhibitions that they feel accurately and responsibly represent their communities. Participating schools will have the opportunity collaborate with DCPS and the Pulitzer Center to select students who will help curate a district-wide Everyday D.C. exhibition featuring images from all schools participating in the unit.

This photography and curation unit is inspired by the Everyday Africa project created by journalists Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill and supported by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting. Everyday Africa, a collection of images shot on mobile phones across the continent, is an attempt to redirect focus toward a more accurate understanding of what most Africans experience on a day-to-day basis: normal life. The project is a response to the common media portrayal of the African continent as a place consumed by war, poverty, and disease.

Additional Resources:

For an easily accessible PDF containing images from Everyday Africa, please click here.

For a PDF containing images from last year's Everyday DC exhibition, please click here.

Through the Pulitzer Center, teachers have the option to connect professional photojournalists with their class in-person or via Skype for this unit. To schedule a classroom visit, or for other questions about this unit, contact education@pulitzercenter.org.

This curriculum was designed by Fareed Mostoufi (Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting) & Andrew Westover (DCPS).

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