8th Grade – Photography Unit, Lesson 3: Shutter Speed & Motion

8th Grade – Photography Unit, Lesson 3: Shutter Speed & Motion

Description of the Unit – Students learn about shutter speed manipulation, and how it affects motion and light. Students will experiment with using a variety of shutter speeds to capture still motion and motion blur. Our featured photographer this week is Sebastião Salgado.

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8th Grade – Photography Unit, Lesson 1: Composition and Intro to Your Camera Settings

8th Grade – Photography Unit, Lesson 1: Composition and Intro to Your Camera Settings

Description of the Unit – Students will embark on a seven-lesson photography unit, getting to know the way a camera works and how to use their settings, as well as understanding the elements and principles of design to achieve specific shots. Additionally, students will be introduced to formative photographers, both past and present, as inspiration for the subject of each lesson.

My 8th grade photography students & I (teacher Anita Sagastegui), as they learn to navigate their camera settings
My 8th grade photography students & I, as they learn to navigate their camera settings
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7th Grade – Fashion Design

7th Grade – Fashion Design

Description of the Unit – Students will create their own fashion line, featuring at least three different looks that share a unifying theme, be it color, pattern, line or particular article of clothing or accessory.

Photo of a catwalk for men's fashion
Students will attempt to create a fashion line of at least three pieces unified by a theme of some kind
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6th Grade – Nonprofit ads and reinforcing visual literacy

6th Grade – Nonprofit ads and reinforcing visual literacy

Description of the Unit – Building upon what students learned in 5th grade about product advertisement in print (https://anitasagastegui.com/2020/07/27/5th-grade-print-advertising-and-cultivating-visual-literacy/), students in 6th grade will look at ads from NGO, nonprofit and charitable organizations to examine how imagery and elements of design are used to sway people to a particular cause. It is interesting to go back and look at the 5th grade product advertisements, comparing them to the 6th grade NGO ads. Reinforcing and reviewing what they studied last year has helped to make the nonprofit ads all the more visually dynamic and sophisticated, as you can see. Students will work in groups to create a non-profit organization of their own, complete with mission statement and logo, and one advertisement aimed at convincing viewers to donate or work for their organization’s cause. To test the ads’ effectiveness, we will have a contest between the groups, with faculty, as well as students in 3rd-8th grades voting on the most eye-catching and persuasive ad.

Billboard ad that was part of a campaign by the Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California. The ad is a parody of certain cigarette ads that romanticize the rugged, cigarette-smoking cowboy.
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5th Grade – Print Advertising (and cultivating visual literacy)

5th Grade – Print Advertising (and cultivating visual literacy)

Description of the Unit – Students will take a critical look at a variety of award-winning print ads, exploring the ways in which the ads use elements and principles of design to sell a product, and as such cultivating visual literacy by understanding mechanism of persuasion. Using what they have learned, students will work in groups to create an ad (for a real-world product but imaginary brand) that works to catch the eye and persuade the viewer to buy the product they are selling. To test the ads’ effectiveness, we have a school-wide contest to choose the most effective, persuasive and visually interesting ad.


These two ads for Samsung cameras use famous figures (Vincent Van Gogh and frida Kahlo) and a bit of humor to draw its audience and tell a story
These two ads for Samsung cameras use famous figures and a bit of humor to draw its audience and tell a story
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1st Grade – Sakura: Japanese Cherry Blossoms…through a straw!

1st Grade – Sakura: Japanese Cherry Blossoms…through a straw!

Description of the Unit – (Not a unit per se, as we only spend a couple of class periods on this.) Students celebrate the arrival of spring by creating Sakura, or Japanese cherry blossoms, in the most amusing way…

A photo of Hanami is the tradition of celebrating the Sakura, the arrival of Japanese cherry blossoms
Hanami is the tradition of celebrating the Sakura, the arrival of Japanese cherry blossoms
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