Different Photo Options

For the last post of this series I wanted to focus on unique tools and lesson ideas that involve photographs. I hope the series has generated some ideas for you. I am available to present this as a workshop. Feel free to contact me if you or your school is interested. Let’s look at some different ideas.

Stop Motion Videos

One of the assignments in my creative writing unit is producing a one-minute stop motion video. There are numerous apps designed for making stop motion videos. One of my favorites is the LEGO Movie Maker because it has options that help students with the project. One example is the shade option. When the student takes a photo the next frame will have a ghost shade of the last photograph so that students can make the changes for the next shot. I assign this as a group project because most of the students have not created a stop motion video before.

Selfie Story

The basics of this lesson are for the students to take a creative selfie as the starting point of a story. There are many apps that can be used for this. PhotoFunia, Wanted Poster ($0.99), and a ton of apps that make something out of your photo. I used a kid’s app, Lazoo Zoo that had an option to take a selfie with one of the zoo animals. For the lesson I printed out the picture (just black and white) for the students to paste in their writing journal. The students then wrote a quick story that started or ended at the moment of the picture.

Three Words

One idea I used in psychology class I got from Good Morning America’s Three Word project. Each student decided on their three words, stages a photo, and then add the words onto their photograph.  We then created a class video using those photos as the center point of the video.


Snapguide is designed for users to create visual based how-to guides. That’s it. Sounds simple. It is, and that is what makes it great. The guides are built around teaching how to do something through pictures and videos. Adding text is a part of the process, but you are limited to 200 characters a page. Once your guide is finished you publish it to Snapguide’s site, then can share it through other social media sites. I teach a Process Essay unit for my writing class. Snapquide is an option for the students to create a “visual how-to” assignment (the students had a number of options). Below is a past student’s guide.

How to French Twist Hair

Another app that can be used to show what a student knows is Shadow Puppet (free). I will admit that I have just started to learn this app, but it is designed for users to tell their stories. Check it out.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality is the ability to leave content in the virtual world that has to be accessed through a device. There are a number of apps that allow us to share photographs in the virtual world.

I have already posted about one of my favorite apps Aurasma. So I’ll let you read that post if you are interested.

Another app I like to use is iTagged. This app allows you to leave photos and 10-second videos at a location. Users can find the photo tags around them by opening the map and when they are close enough you can see the photos hovering in space, when you tap on a photo/video it will fill the screen to view. I like to app smash Typic or befunky with iTagged to produce creative tags to share on this app.

TagwhatTagwhat is a website and app. Like iTagged, the purpose of Tagwhat is to create location tags. But Tagwhat allows you to leave media to tell a story about your location. Below is a link to a story we created in English 10 about the middle school for South Central Unified #5.


The students used photos to create a slide show that connected the past middle school with the present school. When a user opens the app near a location they can see the stories. You build the stories on the webpage and as the example above you can share individual stories with a URL.


Photography can add a dynamic element to any classroom. I hope you discovered some new ideas to use next year.

This series and the gamification series are examples of workshops I can present for your school or ESU. Feel free to contact me through the form on the “Workshop” page, the comment section below, or even Twitter.

The next planned post I will talk with Jason Schmidt (Twitter: @jasonschmidt123) about Minecraft. Look for that post later in the week.








About jboelhower

I am a husband and a father. I have been in the field of education for over 20 years.
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