This group looks like it needs some life pumped into it, so here goes. Since we have introduced ourselves and described WHAT we teach, how about sharing HOW we teach! What is your favourite learning activity/activities? I'll start with day one of my intro class.
Since my students don't have film to develop on the first class, I mix different colours of food colouring in jugs of water to simulate the different chemicals for processing film. Together we go through the entire process of developing film from opening the canister (I used wasted film in reusable canisters) to hanging the washed film to dry. Everything is done in white light. I use abbreviated times to save time. The following week students have their own exposed film to process, and they are at least somewhat familiar with the process.
I have done out of Darkroom exercises where I have demonstrated the process of breaking open a cassette and loading it onto the spiral but I never thought of using food colouring to simulate the different chemicals used within the process. It's a really good idea.
An introduction session I put on, a number of week into the course, is how to do test strips and contrast tests; which lets the students see how contrast affects the image. Firstly I remove an enlarger from the Darkroom out into an open area, I slowly go through the entire process and entice the students to ask questions as this usually helps them learn. I show the students the procedure for Dev/Stop/Fix and the times necessary and show them how to agitate and then the rinse process, as space is a premium I have to introduce stacking and tell students that they must rotate the prints so they rinse fully.
The photo 1 class that I teach (college level, but this might work with high school) is 2/3 analog b & w and 1/3 digital color. In the first class, which is two 3-hour sessions, I do a camera function lecture that includes my drawings of formats (you would laugh at the guy under a dark cloth using a large format & tripod!), d.o.f. and charts about the 1:2 relationship of f/stop, shutter speed, and ISO. Plus I project images showing these techniques by Robt. Frank, Thos. Struth, Nan Goldin, Chris Killip, Bill Burke others and I ask the students to guess what format was used, as well as general f/stop (open or close down?) and/or shutter speed (fast or slow?). The school has cameras that I can check out so that students can handle them as I speak, but I email them before the first class to bring an analog camera if they have one, and roll of Ilford HP5. Surprising how many have parents or grandparents who saved their old cameras!
In the afternoon, we go shoot together.In that way, they have at least 1 roll of film for the 2nd class, but should have 2 rolls based on an assignment I give. In addition, I have them practice loading used & exposed film onto reels, first with their eyes open, then with their eyes closed. So, they are ready to load and process in the next class.
I also teach non-silver classes (this summer at Photographer's Formulary and School of Boston Museum of Fine Arts). I get the students "dirty" in the first class, making photograms with the cheapest emulsion: cyanotypes. Again, I show images by Martha Madigan, Christian Marklay, Kunie Sugiura, etc. for inspiration.
I've been playing with chromoskedasic sebattier with my classes(college level). They seem to love it. Supplies are available from Freestylephoto.biz I've come up with a formula based on info from freestyle that makes prints go metallic silver. Anyone who wants my formula, just let me know.
I thought I should join this group as I have been a photographic lecturer for the past twenty years and am keen to share resource ideas with others. To kick off within this thread I would like to send anyone interested a handout on a task that I find works quite well, but because it has an image on the page I don't know how to send it through APUG, but if you want to email me at email@example.com I will send it as an attachment with info how I use it and you could then if you wish feedback through APUG.
Towards the end of the semester in an Introductory Photo course at the community college where I teach, I give the students an assignment I refer to as a "scavenger hunt." I got the basic idea from an old Ilford Photo Instructor newsletter, but have put my own spin on it.
I have a list of about 2 dozen words that have equivocal meanings. The words are written on slips of paper and put into a hat from which the students randomly draw 5 words. They have to interpret the word and then find the object of their interpretation and create a photograph to illustrate the assigned word. Examples of the words are things like "slip, tip, fall, light, bow, mold," etc. No one can have a duplicate in their 5 picks and it usually works out that in a group of 20-25 students, there are several students that draw the same word so the class gets to experience the different interpretations and outlook of their fellows. They have fun with it, it makes them think, and the assignment gets them looking for things they might not consider otherwise.
Though designed for younger kids, I print out a boxed rule of thirds on transparencies with thick black lines, which I instruct the students to hold out at arms length to help learn a bit about composition, and per-visualization of a shot. Its kinda of silly but its fun. Students get to use camera right after and try to imagine the grids.
Another is learning how to make photograms, where I bring in tons of different materials and toys, things such as sand, rice, various pasta shapes, foam shapes, wooden shapes, Popsicle sticks, pie cleaners, various tissue papers, plastics/gels, bubble wrap, an assortment of toy figurines, a text lettering set for titles, different colored dry erase markers, old mounted slides, and so on. (even toys they have in their pockets, hand, and faces). The photogram exercise helps them learn about the relationship and photosensitivty the paper with light, and whatever obstructs or filters the light.
The "scavenger hunt" is a great exercise. I took a week long class at Brooks Institute years ago taught by Sherman Hines and we spent a morning in a junk yard looking for letters and numbers. Sounds easy enough but the tricky bit was that the letters and numbers had to be in the shapes of things, we couldn't use actual letters and numbers like those on signs.
The first few were a real bitch but then you began to see them everywhere.