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qualified privilege : The right to report what government officials say or do in their official capacities if the report is full, fair and accurate. Also called conditional privilege. News Reporting & Writing (Eighth Edition) by the Missouri Group. Copyright 2005. Reproduced by permission of Bedford/St. Martins.

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Lesson Plans

Patricia Deas
English/journalism teacher
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Lesson Plans

Through the Viewfinder

Through the Viewfinder

Patricia Deas of Socastee High School in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Patricia Deas
Socastee High School
Myrtle Beach, S. C.

Title: Through the Viewfinder


To compose a newsworthy photograph, student photographers need to develop photography skills for clarity, eye flow, and backgrounds.

Activities and Procedures:

2-3 class periods (Class periods are 90 minutes on 4×4 block schedule)


Activity 1

  • Students divide into groups of four. They are to find photos in newspapers and/or magazines that grab their attention. They are to be able to share with the other groups why they chose the pictures.
  • Discuss the rule of thirds (use overhead to demonstrate), eye flow, backgrounds, and angles. Discuss action flow and close-ups vs. long distance shots.

Activity 2

  • Students will be given point-and-shoot cameras for a photo assignment. The subject will be “”the day in the life of a high school student.”” Students are NOT to create any staged shots and are to use creative angles with some of their shots. They are to take a minimum of 15 shots. They are responsible for getting the film developed within two weeks.
  • Discuss the pros and cons of digital cameras vs. conventional cameras.
  • Teacher provides photos to discuss good and bad elements.

Activity 3

  • About 1½ -2 weeks later students are to bring in their developed photos. They are to swap at least 15 photos with another student and then decide which ten (10) shots are the best and why.
  • Students will then create a storyboard with ten photos and write a cutline for each photo to be displayed on half-sheet of posterboard.


Student storyboards will be graded.


  • Newspaper and/or magazines
  • National Geographic. Best of America a Celebration in Pictures Vol. 2
  • "Capture the Moment: The Pulitzer Prize Photographs" Edited by Eric Newton and Cyma Rubin (also see http://www.newseum.org/pulitzer/ — an abbreviated version)

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