Watch Us Grow

Digital Camera Activity

Activity developed by Alan Landon, Redwood High School, Visalia, CA

Grade Level:

3 and Higher


To learn more about the growth of your community. To collect information over a long period of time. To develop observation, reading and writing skills. To develop student skills and abilities in using digital camera technology.


Document the growth of your school by using the digital camera to photograph the progress of a construction project. If your campus is going to be experiencing any construction projects, use the digital camera to capture images of the progress over the life of the job. Begin by making contact with the designer if possible. S/he could give your students some insight into how a project like building new classrooms, a cafeteria or a library gets started as well as some of the details involved in seeing it to completion.

Try to get a good vantage point from which to take the pictures. Use a tripod or set the camera on top of something that will not change during the time of the project. If a tripod is used, set it up in the same location each time. Take the pictures at regular intervals, like every three days, or every Wednesday, etc.

Retrieve the images into a folder with a name like library or cafeteria and print each photograph to be added to a bulletin board display in some strategic location on your campus. Groups of students would be responsible for writing captions for the images.


Each one of the pages with the photograph should be kept in a binder in the classroom and reviewed on a regular basis. If the project is completed during the school year, a copy of it could be given to the people who will be inhabiting the building. One copy could be given to the builder or designer.


Periodic visits from the designer could help students understand some of the unusual phases of the project. Work with the contractor and get a picture of each the workers to be added to the display. Have reporter teams interview the workers if possible to learn about all of the jobs that are needed on such a building project. Write up the interviews and publish them as part of your school newspaper.