Lesson Plans

Everyday DC: Lesson 4

Merrill and DiCampo present Everyday Africa

Pulitzer Center grantees and founders of Everyday Africa speak at the Pulitzer Center on Monday, September 25, 2017. Image by Eslah Attar. United States, 2017.


Students will be able to select images that best convey their narratives for an outside audience. They will also be able to define the elements of a strong caption and write captions to accompany photos.

Caption Exploration:

Using visual thinking strategies, students make predictions about images from the Everyday Everywhere feed. Students then look at captions to check their predictions. Students watch a video from Austin Merrill about the elements of a strong caption. Students practice captioning Everyday DC photos.

Curation Exploration:

Students look at different groupings of photos and practice eliminating photos that don’t fit for a variety of reasons. (they are blurry/don’t relate to the topic/etc.) Students view the film from Peter DiCampo examining how to select photos. Students look through a series of Everyday DC photos and select images that meet the goals outlined by DiCampo. Students write captions for their selected photos.


Students select images that best convey their narratives for an outside audience and write captions to accompany photos.

Sample rubric:


Exceeds Expectation

Meets Expectation

Needs Improvement

VA:Pr5.1.8a: Collaboratively prepare and present selected theme based artwork for display, and formulate exhibition narratives for the viewer.






VA:Re.7.2.6a: Analyze ways that visual components and cultural associations suggested by images influence ideas, emotions, and actions.




Educator Notes: 


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


Select, organize, and design images and words to make visually clear and compelling presentations.

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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