The Power of a Photograph

Posted on: May 28th, 2012 by Mason

Dr. Kathy

Director of Education

Maggie’s Earth Adventures celebrates all of our veterans and thanks them for their service.

This week’s WAP was inspired by a photograph of an elderly woman I found in an old family album in my grandmother’s basement. I knew nothing about the woman in the photo, who she was or where she was from and yet her image struck me in a visceral way. Armed with a name and address on the back, I traveled to England earlier this year and tracked down the spot where the picture was taken. Grasping the photo I had brought along for the visit, I stood there and my mind was flushed with images of what her life may have been like. I felt as if my imagination had been suddenly refreshed and if one faded picture of an unknown woman could inspire a journey across the pond, imagine how stories behind photographs can inspire a generation of children.

Today, social media has elevated the sheer volume of images and our children are overwhelmed daily with rapid-fire photographs. As I have watched media’s transformation over the last 30 plus years in the classroom, my concern is our capacity to absorb and process these images. This week encourage your students to stop and think about what they really see in a photograph and watch their over-stimulated minds pause and their imaginations soar. For some interesting activities to share in your classroom, check out my Dear Colleague Letter this week.