Yesterday (Tuesday March 15) the 2000th photo was added to the #eltpics collection on flickr. This is how it appeared on my Tweetdeck screen. (If you don’t know about the #eltpics Twitter initiative follow the link above.)
Alongside the 2000th image came a challenge, to share a lesson idea to go with this beautiful image by @ij64.
These were the first two responses, both of which I’d love to try out with a class:
This is my contribution to the challenge:
I love the depth of this photo and the way it changes as you focus on the nets in the foreground or the boats in the background. It’s almost like two images in one.
I’d love to project this image onto our whiteboard, with the lights off, concentrate on the image and let the students form their own reactions, interpretations and connections. I’d give them say 10 to 30 seconds to do that and then ask them to imagine the sounds and smells and sensations of the scene. Sensations is the most difficult, I guess. I’d guide them asking them if it was warm or cold, asking them to look up at the imaginary sky: what colour is it? Is it cloudy? What clothes are you wearing? How does the air feel on your skin?
We’d annotate the photo with words that came up, something like we did with this close-up of sand. If you don’t have an IWB in your classroom, you can take a photo. It works just as well.
There are lots of links here for my current students. We live in a town with a working port. We’re surrounded by sea. I would ask them where they thought this photo was taken. Whether it could have been taken locally, and if not, why not. And if not locally, then where? I guess they’d say the North of Spain. And they’d be right. It was taken in Rio de Ferrol, Galicia. (As Dan suggests in his comment below, if you have wifi in the classroom you might want to find out more about Ferrol. See Dan’s comment for an extension on this). Though for me, where it was actually taken is not as important as the associations it has for the students. In this case there are lots of connections with Galicia. A lot of my students have Galician surnames and Galician relatives. I guess this could open up a rich vein of conversation.
If you wanted to use it with students who don’t live near a port, it should still be easy enough to ask them to imagine where in their country there might be similar scenes. It doesn’t need to be a sea scene either, it could be a river (I’m thinking at the moment of, say, land-locked Hungary and the cargo boats on the Danube.)
I’d also show them this “sister” image, another eltpic from Ian, and ask them which they prefer and why and what made them different. I’d ask them which they’d hang on a wall and where and why. Or if either was used as a poster for a film, or cover for a book, what kind of film or book would it be?
And having done all that I’d share the #eltpics flickr mosaic for the close-ups topic and ask them to take some of their own for the next class. Who knows, they might even want to contribute them to the collection?