Extend your students’ media literacy skills with this Photo Analysis unit. Students develop a vocabulary for analyzing photographs and art (Elements of Art and Principles of Design), strengthen understanding through nonfiction readings and practice activities, and complete individual analyses.
✅ Analyzing photographs is like analyzing a text
✅ Elements of art are like figurative language for photographs
✅ Photographers consider audience, context, and purpose
This collection of lessons helps improve media literacy by having students analyze photographs as texts. Analyzing photographs (unlike literature) convinces students that there are no “right answers” and that analysis is, instead, all about your evidence.
Each photo analysis activity is independent, making this an easy unit to teach analyzing photographs and media literacy during standardized testing or other times that you may not have all students in the classroom at the same time. Everything is highly scaffolded so that students can work on it independently, and can easily pick up where they left off.
✅ 7-10 ELA
✅ Yearbook & Journalism
What teachers like you are saying about this media literacy resource:
Your media literacy resource includes:
⭐️ A Photo Analysis project where students try their hand at photography (students each take one photograph and then they analyze a classmate’s. This isn’t a subjective good/bad judgment, but rather “student as the artist” and another student analyzing the “text” presented)
⭐️ Interview a Photographer project & rubric
⭐️ Elements of Art & Principles of Design (terms & practice)
⭐️ Writing an Analysis of a Photograph (scaffolded practice)
⭐️ Psychology of Color (nonfiction article) & practice
⭐️ Photographer Biography: Gordon Parks & scaffolded analysis
⭐️ Psychology of Perspective (nonfiction article) & practice
⭐️ Two independent analyses and guided peer conferencing
⭐️ Two optional quizzes. Editable in PowerPoint.
⭐️ Teacher’s Guide with answer keys, student exemplars, and rubrics
⭐️ Low-ink options, with slideshows of photos to project
⭐️ Digital Versions of the student workbook in Google Slides and the quizzes in Google Forms
All resources are available in an editable (PowerPoint) workbook so that you can sub in any photos you choose. You can also upload the workbook to Google Slides if you prefer.
If you’re looking for engaging ways to teach students to write an analysis, this unit is for you!