Everyday DC: A Photojournalism Unit Inspired by the Everyday Africa Project

The Everyday DC photojournalism unit was written by Pulitzer Center and D.C. Public Schools as a middle school cornerstone unit for the visual arts department. The unit guides students in applying 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 then create group photo exhibitions that they feel accurately and responsibly represent their communities.

This photography and curation unit is inspired by the Everyday Africa project which was created by journalists Peter DiCampo and Austin Merrill and supported by the Center. 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. 

Everyday DC Lesson Plans

The following lesson plans, which were designed by Pulitzer Center education staff and Andrew Westover for DCPS, outline how the seven-lesson Everyday DC photojournalism unit is taught by middle school educators in Washington, DC. The lessons build on each other and culminate in a final photography exhibition.

[Lesson 1 original PDF] [Lesson 1 original Doc]
[Lesson 2 original PDF] [Lesson 2 original Doc]
[Lesson 3 original PDF] [Lesson 3 original Doc]
[Lesson 4 original PDF] [Lesson 4 original Doc]
[Lesson 5 original PDF] [Lesson 5 original Doc]
[Lesson 6 original PDF] [Lesson 6 original Doc]
[Lesson 7 original PDF] [Lesson 7 original Doc]

Teaching Photojournalism and Curation through Everyday DC

The lesson plans below were inspired by the Everyday DC unit, but are rewritten to be used individually to teach visual literacy, photojournalism and curation skills. To use these lessons as part of a final exhibition, use the following order:

  1. Exploring Media Representation and Bias in Photography
  2. Telling Stories with Photographs 
  3. Practicing Photojournalism Skills 
  4. Captioning and Curating Photography
  5. Exploring Portraiture as a Storytelling Tool 
  6. Composing Photographs and Creating Exhibition Narratives 
  7. Composing Individual and Collaborative Photojournalism Exhibitions 

For support creating a photojournalism project like Everyday DC with your students, contact [email protected].