This lesson for me, consists of about 35 presentation slides that discusses the different types of photography and elements of design (yes I do put these together). I discuss elements of design along with different photography techniques, all through examples that demonstrate the good, the bad, and "are you kidding me" -- as I like to put it to my students.
So what did I do this semester...I threw the lesson out the window! My students have entered the "96 Hour Design Challenge." I put together a list of design elements and photography techniques for the students to find either through photos or layout designs that would meet the criteria. The "96" represents the hours they have to complete the challenge. I wanted to give the students enough time to critically think and problem solve.
I introduced this activity, the last 10 minutes of class and told the students we would continue discussion the next day. The next day, over half of the students had all ready found 10 items with one student actually taking each of the photos elements herself! All of the students were actively engaged in the task throughout the class period creating their presentation websites. What was most exciting though? The students were having meaningful, positive conversations with each other on the items that they found and ideas on how to continue finding the rest of the elements in the challenges.
I wasn't sure if I wanted to risk throwing my "in the zone" lesson out the window, but the rewards after one day have been tremendous! I look forward to Friday, when the students will be giving their "mini lessons" to each other. From listening to their discussions and answering in-depth questions, I am wowed that my students are in the "learning zone." Hopefully on Friday, I will get the opportunity to fill-in-the-gaps with any missing elements...but somehow I doubt it!