TechLearning and Adobe Digital Kids Club announced their 2007 "Portraits of Learning" digital photo contest recently. As I read through the information, it struck me what a great introductory lesson this would be for the start of the year.
Usually, I begin each year having my students create personal newspapers, with stories and ads and classifieds all about themselves. It's fun, the students claim it's their favorite project of the year, and it gives me a chance to learn something unique about each student.
This year, I think I'll do the Portraits of Learning instead. Students take digital stills, then write a 50 word commentary on how the photo reflects their point of view. Brilliant! The assignment includes tech literacy skills, personal writing, shows the students early on that I'm interested in them beyond their classwork, and (on a purely practical level) will make a GREAT classroom display for back-to-school night!
Sudden thought: Have the students write their commentary as an extended metaphor that links to the photograph.