Using Photography Across the Curriculum: Recommended Resources

Whether you are planning to use photography as a tool for learning across the curriculum or you simply want to do a theme unit on photography, here’s a list of books that I came across in researching this article that I highly recommend (a few of which I was able to find at the library).

• A great book to help start you on your journey to using photography in the classroom is Picture Science: Using Digital Photography to Teach Young Children, Carla Neumann-Hinds (2007, Redleaf Press). It offers practical approaches to using photography to assist children in exploring the world around them, with sample science lessons and classroom applications. It explains how to use digital photography to make each step in the scientific method of investigation—from posing a question, to gathering data, to showing your findings—concrete and fun for children.

To begin on the journey of using photography to enhance other areas of your curriculum, such as history and physics, there are several books with good clear sections on photography. These are good for learning about the invention of the camera, and its development over time, as well as the general science behind the camera.

• How Things Work, an Illustrated Encyclopedia by Chris Oxlade (BackPack Books, 2005). This book has a very large section about cameras and photography and includes some very cool experiments and activities that illustrate each topic. You can get a used copy of this book on Amazon for less than a dollar, plus shipping.

• Photography by Alan Buckingham (Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Books, 2004). This highly regarded book covers the history and development of photography with lots of great facts and photos of historical artifacts.

• Click! A Story of George Eastman, by Barbara Mitchell (Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 1986) is a short biography of this American inventor who singlehandedly revolutionized photography.

Books that compile a collection of iconic images are excellent to have on hand, and they can be used to discuss the art of photography and the history surrounding the images, as well be used as writing prompts for creative writing. LIFE magazine has published many books of photographs that they have run over the years, and their book 100 Photographs That Changed the World, edited by Robert Sullivan (Time, Inc., 2003), provides a good general overview to have on hand. A similar compilation is Time’s 100 Greatest Images, History’s Most Influential Photographs, edited by Kelly Knauer (Time Home Entertainment, Inc., 2012), which includes photos from the past five years.

For the budding photographer in your family I recommend Photography for Kids! by Michael Ebert & Sandra Abend (Rocky Nook, 2011). This book focuses on digital photography and provides clear tips and examples of how to master the basics of photography. Similarly, The Kids’ Guide to Digital Photography, by Jenni Bidner (Lark Books, 2004) covers digital photography but goes a step further and discusses in depth how to use computers and the Internet to make the most of the images. Last but not least are two older books: How to Photograph Your Life by Nick Kelsh and National Geographic Photography Guide for Kids by Neil Johnson (National Geographic Society, 2001). Kelsh’s book is chock full of excellent tips and advice for shooting photos in everyday situations. Johnson’s book gives a nice overview of photographic techniques peppered with photos and advice from National Geographic’s staff photographers, such as Sam Abell and William Albert Allard. Lastly, if your child wants to go a step further, check out Ten Photo Assignments by Amanda Quintenz-Fiedler, a book that provides real-world assignments that guide the novice to intermediate photographer to a mastery of the craft.

About 

A homeschooling mother of 5, home education advocate, and former classroom teacher. She is a writer, blogger, and poet. "I just want to encourage, and be encouraged. Inspire, and be inspired. Teach a little, and learn a lot," is her approach to life.

Lupe Tucker

A homeschooling mother of 5, home education advocate, and former classroom teacher. She is a writer, blogger, and poet. "I just want to encourage, and be encouraged. Inspire, and be inspired. Teach a little, and learn a lot," is her approach to life.

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