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Language Arts, Writing, Writing Process, Art, Appreciation

Grade 5- 8


The students will learn to use photography as an editorial enhancement.


This activity can be done in several parts.

  1. Distribute page 124. Discuss the "photographs" with the students and what might be happening in them. Also discuss captions. Define captions as brief descriptions or commentaries on photographs or illustrations. After your discussion, have the students complete page 124. Share their ideas.
  2. Divide the students into groups. Give each group an article and accompanying photograph. Also distribute page 125. Have each group answer the questions on page 125 in regards to the photograph and article. Afterwards, discuss their findings.
  3. Discuss the importance of showing only what is important to display in any photograph used with writing. Tell the students that this is accomplished through cropping. Cropping removes all superfluous, fuzzy, or potentially confusing elements. Distribute page 126 to the students and ask them to crop the "photographs" there. Afterwards, share their cropped photographs and discuss them. Are most of the students' cropped photographs the same?
  4. Now that the students have learned the basics of photographs that accompany writing, it is time for them to start from scratch. Each student should write an editorial essay on a topic of his or her choice, taking the writing through the writing process. When nearly complete, the student should either find a photograph or two from magazines and newspapers to include with the final draft or actually take accompanying photos with a camera. (A third alternative is for the student to draw the photos.) The final draft should be written with spaces for the photographs (as in a newspaper article). If desired, this can be done on a computer, with the photographs scanned in place.
  5. Share and display the editorials.


  • copy of "Caption Writing" (page 124) for each student
  • copy of "Choosing a Photograph" (page 125) for each student
  • copy of "Crop These" (page 126) for each student
  • writing paper
  • pens or pencils
  • old magazines and newspapers
  • articles and accompanying photographs cut from magazines and newspapers
  • scissors
  • glue sticks
  • cameras and film (optional

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