PBL Icon

Project-based Learning

Creativity Icon

Creativity

DS Icon

Digital Storytelling

21st Century Icon

21st Century Classrooms

Literacy Icon

Literacy

ELA Icon

Language Acquisition

STEM Icon

STEM

Teaching Icon

Teaching and Learning

Language Arts Icon

Language Arts

Math Icon

Math

Science Icon

Science

Social Studies Icon

Social Studies

Professional Learning Icon

Professional Learning

Rubric Maker Icon

Rubric Maker

Graphic Organizer Maker Icon

Graphic Organizer Maker

PBL Icon

Project-based Learning

Creativity Icon

Creativity

DS Icon

Digital Storytelling

21st Century Icon

21st Century Classrooms

Literacy Icon

Literacy

ELA Icon

English Language Acquisition

STEM Icon

STEM

Teaching Icon

Teaching and Learning

Language Arts Icon

Language Arts

Math Icon

Math

Science Icon

Science

Social Studies Icon

Social Studies

Professional Learning Icon

Professional Learning

Pics4Learning Icon

Pics4Learning

Rubric Maker Icon

Rubric Maker

Graphic Organizer Icon

Graphic Organizer Maker

Me: A Visual Essay

Students build media literacy skills and become familiar with photocollage techniques as they create a visual essay to share information about themselves.

Apps: Pixie® or Wixie®

image of student collage

Task

In today's world, you need to be as good at expressing yourself with pictures as you are with writing. Sharing information visually can help you communicate with people who don’t speak the same language and show to others that are a savvy visual communicator.

Create a visual essay about yourself that will help people understand more about your personality, goals, history, and style. As you combine images and your creativity, remember artistic elements such as rhythm, color and shape.

Engage

A collage is a collection of images that tell a story. Collage comes from the French work coller, which means "to glue." Most collages, and the ones your students may have already made, are often created by glueing photos, fabric, and newsprint together.

Software, like Wixie, makes it easy to create photocollage using the computer and image editing techniques.

Use the Web or your library to locate examples of photocollage, or even photomontage. Photomontage is a similar process, but in the montage process images are combined together to make a new object or image.

If you are working with young students, read a picture book like William Wegman's Flo & Wendell Explore.Talk about how the author mixes photos, textures, and original artwork.

If you are working with older students, explore how artist John Heartfield used photographs to powerful political effect between the two world wars.

In either case, ask students to share what they think the artist or illustrator is trying to convey. How does the picture make them feel? How did the artist make us feel this way? What story does the picture tell?

In order to tell an effective story, even visual, students should be clear about the characteristics of the subject they are portraying. A photograph of each student will provide obvious physical characteristics like hair and eye color, but how will they share the story of their personality, strengths, and goals?

Have students brainstorm ideas and descriptive words about themselves and write them in a cluster diagram. For younger students, encourage them to share:

Ask older students to include things like hobbies and interests, but also describe:

If you want to make writing part of this project, ask students to translate their ideas into a character essay that summarizes the information they want to share about themselves.

Create

Begin the creation process by having students collect images of things that represent their goals, passions, and experiences.Use a digital camera to capture original photographs of objects they own and high-quality images of artwork they create by hand.

Use a tool like Pixie® or Wixie® to create the montage.

For younger students, you may want to start by capturing their image with a web cam through the Library and then finding stickers in the Clip Art library.

Teach students how to use the "Glue" and "Convert to Sticker" options to move between the paint layer to object layer for a true montage effect. Show them how to order objects, like photographs, that they have added from the library.

Working with the selection tools, like the eyedropper and lasso will also help students select the parts of an image they want to keep or delete.

Share

Print the images to display them as an art exhibit in your classroom or school. You could also collect them into one file and run as a slide show for a digital art installation.

Reach out to a local coffee shop or even small business to see if they might be interested in showcasing student work in their office.

You may also want to experiment with size and shape to turn each visual essay into a banner students can use at the top of their personal web page, blog, resume, or classroom journal.

Assessment

The final image is a useful summative assessment for each student's overall skill communicating in a visual medium. During the process, you can assess their progress in their personal character sketch as well as the files they collect for their montage.

Create your own rubric for free at rubric-maker.com

Bring students into the assessment process by pairing them up for evaluation. Ask students to share their work with two other students, one who knows them well and one who doesn't. Have them evaluate each other's visual essays using the following questions:

You may also want to reach out to your local graphic design community and see if someone would be willing to come in and evaluate student work.

Resources

Lynne Perella. Alphabetica: An A-Z Creativity Guide for Collage and Book Artists. ISBN: 1592531768

William Wegman. Flo & Wendell Explore. ISBN: 0803739303

Cut and Paste: A History of Photomontage

John Heartfield and German Photomontage

Standards

National Art Education Standards

1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes. Students:

a. select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of their choices

b. intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of *art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas

Common Core Anchor Standards for English Language Arts

Writing: Production and Distribution of Writing:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

Speaking and Listening: Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.

NETS for Students:

1. Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

2. Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

Advertisement
Building Literacy in Elementary
Advertisement
Wixie
Advertisement
Animal riddle

Lesson: Animal Riddles

Wixie student projects

What can your students create?

Advertisement
A great project

Eight elements of great project design

Design a Book Cover

Lesson: Design a Book Cover

Splat... Pow... Wow!

Make learning fun with comics and cartoons

Advertisement

More sites to help you find success in your classroom

Rubric Maker

Rubric Maker

Create custom rubrics for your classroom.

Graphic Organizer Maker

Graphic Organizer Maker

Create custom graphic organizers for your classroom.

Building Literacy Guide

Pics4Learning

A curated, copyright-friendly image library that is safe and free for education.

Topics

Creativity

Digital Storytelling

21st Century Classrooms

Project-based Learning

Teaching and Learning

Curriculum

Literacy

English Language Aquisition

STEM

Lessons

Language Arts

Math

Science

Social Studies

Creative Educator

Professional Learning

About Us

Tech4Learning