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Lesson Plan September 16, 2015

Photojournalism, Selecting the right images to tell the story.



Micah Albert, Photojournalist­jA

Buried in Dandora: (Just listen to the audio)

BBC curated photo essay:­africa­1810159

Optional resource:

Visual Variety Quiz:­2290­48b1­ae57­29e77c0e6b23

Standards: MA: Cr3.1.II

Create/Consolidate: Consolidate production processes to demonstrate deliberate choices in organizing and integrating content and stylistic conventions in media arts production, demonstrating understanding of art principles, such as continuity and juxtaposition.

Essential Question:

What is the best way to tell the story of Dandora? What types of stories lend themselves well to being told with images?


By the end of the lesson Students will be able to consider the decisions made by Micah Albert when documenting the Dandora dump in Nairobi. Students will make appropriate considerations as they narrow down their own images for their own photo essays.

Lesson Plan:

Warm up: Briefly review the Life Magazine guidelines for visual variety. Here is an interactive review quiz I constructed for this purpose:­2290­48b1­ae57­29e77c0e6b23

A brief intro to Dandora. Dandora by the numbers (see slides). Prepare students to listen closely to the audio, perhaps closing their eyes to picture the scene that is being described.

Present the audio resource, Buried in Dandora, but do NOT show the accompanying visuals.

After hearing the brief intro of the facts and initial impressions of Micah Albert, have students respond on paper:

If it was up to you to tell this story, what images would you find essential for telling it?

What images might work for the overall/opening shot? Action shot? Sequence? Clincher? What image would be the signature shot?

Allow students to share out some of their responses.

Show students the National Geographic Award Winning Photo taken by Micah Albert of two women trash pickers (see slide). Have students articulate why this is a suitable signature shot 

for the story of Dandora. Discuss the juxtaposition of the simultaneous beauty and hope that can be read in the mood of the image because of the golden light of the rising sun, with the tragedy and anguish of daily survival in Dandora.


Ask students to take on the perspective of the women pictured here. In their best guess, what might this person know, believe, care about, and why? Have students share responses. Then ask students to consider their own perspective... STEP BACK: What made you give your answer to the previous questions? Share responses.

Share the BBC curated photo essay of Micah's photos of Dandora:­africa­1810159

Read accompanying captions, many of these images may have been mentioned by students in their responses to the audio activity with Micah's descriptions of Dandora.

Have students respond to the following questions:

What is being said in Micah's images of life in Dandora? How else might I or the journalist express this story? How else might I say this or convey this? Why? Repeat*

Get students to arrive at the conclusion that there is more than one valid way to tell any story, including the story of Dandora.


Students begin the process of editing, sequencing, and captioning their own previously shot images; Determining which are the best 6­10 to help tell their stories. The final product is a captioned powerpoint slideshow.

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