Photojournalism and Diversity

Photojournalism and Diversity

Fairlle LaForge of Worley Middle School in Mansfield, Texas.

Fairlle LaForge
Worley Middle School
Mansfield, Texas

Title: Photojournalism and Diversity


To promote cultural diversity by having students compare traditions, holidays, and every day life.


This project will be the end result of learning how to use a camera. The photos produced by this project should reflect a basic use of a camera.

Goals & questions to be answered & discussed:


  • To promote diversity and tolerance of others not like you
  • To have a basic working knowledge of the camera
  • To develop students listening and interviewing skills
  • To develop researching and writing skills
  • To develop an eye for what is a good picture (crop with the camera & disturbing the frame etc.)


  • What is a photo story?
  • Why is research important before you start taking photos?
  • Are we really that different from one other?


  • This can be a semester, quarter, or all-year-long project. Students will need time to look for anecdotes and find families of friends willing to be photographed. All this will take time, so I suggest you present the material to them early while they are still learning about how to use a camera, etc. They do not need to go out and immediately start taking pictures. Encourage students to take their time and think about the project.
  • Show the example of “Cannibal in the Mirror” and explain that students do not need to look only at Native American ceremonies for ideas. There are differences and similarities in every culture.
  • Ideas for the classroom:
    • Model-interviewing skills
    • Brainstorm possible project & ideas show an example you made
    • Have students talk about their projects at each deadline
    • Invite some of the people photographed in for class discussion
    • Display students work like a photo gallery and invite other people

Sample rubric:

  • 20% research paper
  • 50% presentation
  • 15% presentation
  • 15% worksheets


  • Grade students projects based on creativity, visual presentation, and research.
  • Students should turn in an idea worksheet, progress reports, and examples of anecdotes along the way. This will ensure students are working and not putting together something mediocre a couple of days before the project is due.
  • Creating a rubric will also be helpful to students and create an easier grading system for the teacher as well. That way students know what is expected of them and they can make sure all the elements needed is included with their final presentation.

Possible modifications

  • Gifted and Talented:
    • Add taped interviews to further explain photos
    • Include research about cultural difference
    • Advanced presentation of material
    • Verbal presentation of project
    • Book binding of material to share with class
    • Additional oral history presentation
    • Write a new story about project for newspaper
    • Student diversity column in newspaper
  • Special education:
    • Reduce the number of photos
    • Allow more time for completion of project
    • Allow for verbal explanation vs. written
    • Give more one on one instruction with student
    • Provide some suggestions for project

Other lessons needed to be taught before completion of project

  • After introduction of project spend the next few weeks teaching students the parts of a camera.
  • Go into the lab and show students how to do research and work with Photoshop.
  • Have students take several sets of pictures and work with them one on one and have them talk about their projects

Recommended readings & Sources:

  • “Cannibal in the Mirror” by Paul Fleischman
  • “Feathers and Fools” by Mem Fox