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Focus Lessons

How Photography Enhances the Teaching of Writing

Enhance your writing instruction through photography. 

In Focus Lessons, Ralph Fletcher makes the link between writing and photography clear. He offers new ideas about taking pictures to spark creativity, using a camera as a writer’s notebook, learning to “read” images as mentor texts, and helping students develop writing from photos.

He also shares fifteen craft lesson ideas that bring these ideas to life in your classroom.

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"Writers, like photographers, are image makers." 

We teach our students to write using words and sentences that create a desired effect. You might encourage them to zoom in on a small moment, focus on a specific detail, or experiment with a new point of view. The language of writing has a natural link with photography.

Linking Photography with Writing

In Focus Lessons, Ralph Fletcher makes this connection clear. He offers new ideas about how this link can enhance your instruction.

  • Using a camera as a writer’s notebook
  • Taking pictures to spark creativity
  • Learning to “read” images as mentor texts
  • Helping students develop writing from photos

Craft Lessons Ideas

Ralph also shares fifteen craft lessons that draw on the photographic world. Each lesson highlights a different technique like creating tension, using arresting details, or setting a mood. Then he shows how to achieve each one—in both photography and writing.

“A series of savvy decisions are required to produce a memorable photograph,” says Ralph. “That’s true with writing, as well.”

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