Activity Prep for Educators:
This dynamic activity is a perfect warm-up for any lesson on visual literacy! Before class, print out the "Photos for Puzzle Activity" PDF below (we suggest using cardstock) and cut the photos into puzzle piece shapes (just like this). Every student should start out with one puzzle piece, and the remaining pieces that make up their photo should be distributed among other students/around the room. Additionally, print out the "Captions for Photo Puzzles" PDF, or plan to project it during class.
Activity Instructions for Students:
1. On your own, examine the puzzle piece in front of you. Take three minutes to write down:
- What do you see on your puzzle piece?
- What story do you think this photo is telling?
- What would you predict the rest of this photograph might look like?
Share your observations and predictions with the class.
2. You are holding one piece of a photograph from a news story. The other pieces that make up that photo are in your classmates' hands, or scattered around the room! Take two minutes to work with your classmates to put your photo puzzle together.
3. Now that you see the full picture, discuss in your small group:
- What story do you think this photo is telling now?
- How well do your predictions match up with reality?
- What would you predict the news story this photo is from might be about?
4. Find the headline and caption that match your photo. Discuss as a class:
- What new information did you learn by reading?
- Why is it important to seek out the whole story instead of settling for partial information?
- How can we seek out the full story/get more information about things we see in the news, on social media, and in our everyday lives?
This lesson was developed in partnership with Carolyn Kouri, visual arts educator at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, DC.