Using Digital Camera Technology
in the Classroom

Know Your Community

Author, School, Grade level/Subject: Rita Romero, District Library Technician

Lesson Grade Level: 3+

Subject: Social Studies, English, Art

Objective: To develop research, observation and writing skills. To develop student's skills in using digital technology. To increase student knowledge and understanding of their community.

Procedure: Student groups will pick a topic about their city to research, photograph and describe. Topics could include shopping areas, medical services and facilities, schools or parks, entertainment, transportation, etc. Students would either list the photos that the teacher will take or the camera would be and checked out for the evening for the groups to collect their own photos. After the photos are transferred to the computer, saved on disk and erased from the camera, the next group would check out the camera.

Assessment: The photos would be incorporated into a written project like a "z" fold brochure that is printed and put on display as a collection of community information. The local chamber of commerce could be contacted and a set of the brochures be given to them. Contacting the chamber before the project is started could be good source of ideas for topics to research as well as a good set of example brochures.

The same brochure could take the form of a video commercial. Organize the images in the camera, hook it up to the VCR and TV. With the camera on AUTO PLAY and a tape in the VCR, press RECORD on the VCR and record the commercial. You can add sound to your video by hooking up some sort of audio equipment to the AUDIO IN connector on the back of the VCR and record the sound at the same time as the images. A cassette or CD player can be used for the audio source. Students can script the commercial record it on tape which is then "played" for the VCR at the time of recording of the commercial.

Follow-up: Upper grade students who have been trained in the care and use of the camera could be "hired" by a primary class to be their photographer. The older students could take the pictures and help create the brochures or videos. Anything created by the older students should have enough copies made so that they can keep one for their own portfolio