Teachers Lesson Plans

Urban Panorama: Grade 7-8

Look and Discuss

Ask the students to do the lesson plan?s Look & Compare activity individually or as a group. Use the works of Platt D. Babbitt and Edward Burtynsky as a point of departure and initiate a discussion about landscape and the choices a photographer has to make before taking a photograph, such as framing, distance between subject and the camera, depth of field, etc. Is it possible to represent a subject in a single photograph? Is it possible to take photographs that are entirely objective? A photograph presents a specific moment, framed and chosen by the photographer. This aspect of choice is very important because it makes us realize and understand the presence of the photographer behind the camera at a particular time. To prepare the students for the outdoor photography session, have them think about their way of seeing their immediate environment. What aspects of the city do they think are interesting? Disturbing? Would they like to observe a single place from all angles or produce a commentary on recycling, pollution, the passage of time?

After comparing the two landscape photographs in the lesson, the students are asked to think about their environment and how photography can be used to comment on the environment around us.