Monday, November 23, 2009

Life magazine's online photo archive

Before the age of cell phone cameras, You Tube, and Google Images, America received news and event images through weekly magazines. One of the must-see publications was Life magazine.  They captured the heroes, villains and events that shaped history.

These images are now available on the newly launched Here is an excerpt from their site:

Welcome to, the largest, most amazing collection of professional photography on the Web.heroes, our stars, our celebrations and heartbreak, the events etched in our memory and the small moments that make life sweet. When you find a photo you like, you'll be able to share it, print it, and sometimes even buy it.

LIFE and Getty Images, the two most recognized names in photography, have joined forces to provide you instant access to millions of breathtaking photographs — for free. not only lets you wander through the legendary LIFE and Getty archives, but with more than 3,000 new photos added every day, it also gives you the best pictures of the people and places shaping our world now.

These are the photos you won’t forget. Taken by the world’s top photographers and curated by LIFE editors, they tell the story of our times — our

Edutopia Magazine recenlty had a great article on "Teaching with Primary Souces". Specifically they spoke about using images. They recommend the following:

  1. Select Photographs - Use the custom search tool on to hunt for images by topic or photographer.

  2. Research the techniques

  3. The Library of Congress's American Memory Website ( provides lesson plans and question guides to help students think critically when examining photos.

  4. They also have self directed study modules on teaching with primary sources (

  5. Develop a list of questions based on the following topics:

  • What is the main subject of the photo

  • Time: what might have happened just after or before the photo was taken.

  • Framing: What would be visible if you could move the camera left or right, up or down.

  • Vantage Point: How far was photographer from the images seen in the picture?

  • Dominance: What is the first thing you notice in the picture?

  • Original Purpose: How was the photograph first seen or used? How is the photograph regarded today?

  • Intention: What do you think the photographer was trying to express through the image?

"When you teach students how to be critical viewers, they learn how to elevate personal opinions into authorative opinions",  Elizabeth Lay, retired English teacher from Oakland, California

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Digital Story Project Examples

The students in Briggs, Cozy Lake, and Milton Schools have been producing digital stories using MS Photostory 3. In Briggs School all of the second grade students took part in an online project called "Where the Wild Things Went" You can view their completed stories on their new school blog which can be found here.

Mrs. Caraturo's class in Cozy Lake School created digital stories.  During the month of October, students in Mrs. Caraturo’s class were asked to choose a newly fallen leaf.  Students then illustrated a picture and wrote a story about the journey their leaf took after it fell from its tree.  The boys and girls are very excited to have published their first digital story and to share it with their family and friends. Mrs. Caraturo's class stories are published here. Please contact her for the password to view the stories if you are interested.

  The students in Mrs. Evans Kindergarten class, in Milton School,  created digital stories describing their favorite animal at Space Farms Zoo.   Each student drew a picture of an animal and then narrated their picture. We used a digital camera and Microsoft Photostory 3 to complete the project. You can view their stories here.

To learn more about digital storytelling click here.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Online Global Project

Jennifer Wagner of "projects by Jenn" has created another  great project called the Holiday Card Exchange Project. I copied the details of the project below. You can visit the site at

See below:


Welcome to the
Holiday Card Exchange Project

Registration will open on
November 6, 2009

Dates of Project:
December 1 - 18th, 2009

This project will be open to all PreK - 6th grade classes around the world.

Classrooms will be teamed with 24 other classrooms to exchange holiday cards.

Each class will be sent an excel document
with all names and addresses of
the classrooms in their group.

Each class needed to create (or purchase) enough cards to send 1 card to each class on your list.
(Teachers are responsible for all postage costs)
Find sample ideas here!

Lists will be sent to participating classrooms
by November 30th, 2009

All cards will need to be mailed to the other classrooms by the 7th of December.

Teachers are encouraged to create a map to show where the cards come from. Google Earth and Google Maps are both very easy programs to use to create maps. You also could make a bulletin board map as well.
Please send Jen a picture of your map
after this project. Thank you!!

Since this was a holiday card project, it will be possible to receive all kinds of holiday cards (of differing beliefs and customs). If a school has certain "restrictions"; the teacher needs to be the filter of these cards.