Posted in Hands-on activities, Journalism, Newspaper, Photojournalism, Project-based learning, Student-led learning, Teachable moments, Yearbook

Chapter 47: Capturing the Moment

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Our superintendent rewards kids who post high scores on their state-mandated tests with a field trip to a big arcade and pizzeria about three hours from school. My kids always do well. I’m always asked to help chaperone their trip. And I always grumble about losing a day of instructional time to something I don’t consider terribly educational.

I’m not grumbling tonight.

My yearbook editor wasn’t particularly excited by the prospect of shooting zombies, aliens, or laser tag opponents, but she was more than happy to spend Thursday with a Nikon D3300 in her hands, shooting her schoolmates and teachers as they enjoyed the arcade’s offerings.

My first inkling that the day might turn out to be more educational than I’d anticipated came during lunch, when Evelyn put the camera in manual mode and asked me what settings I’d recommend under the restaurant’s low light.

We devoted the next few minutes to a hands-on lesson in how the shutter, aperture, and ISO settings work together to create properly lit images, and then I turned her loose.

The gallery above contains just a few of the images she captured over the course of the afternoon. I coached her a little here and there, but most of the time, she was a step ahead of me, finding good angles, taking advantage of interesting reflections, and documenting happy moments for posterity. By the time we left the arcade, she knew her way around the camera as well as I did — if not better — and she had added photography to the list of career options she was considering.

I’m just a little bit proud of her — and for the first time in my entire life, I’m looking forward to January, because I cannot WAIT to see how she does at the state journalism competition.



Raised by hippies. Aging and proud of it.

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