Assignment: Gaining Perspective

Audience,, in-class activities, perspective

Perspective is a key part of understanding how to write well. As writers, we need to recognize that we approach each assignment with our own unique perspective. We also need to realize that we have the power to change that perspective. In addition, we need to recognize that our readers approach what we write with a perspective of their own, one that might or might not match what we had in mind.

Since perspective is mostly about the way we see things, it makes sense to demonstrate it through visuals. This in-class activity will give you a chance to explore your own perspective in a new way.

Leave the classroom and choose three objects to photograph. Photograph each object three times, each one from a different point of view (for a total of nine pictures). Maybe you will take one photograph from above, one close-up, and one from a distance. Try to look at objects that others might not take the time to notice during the day. Return to the classroom in 20 minutes.

Once you return, choose your best two photos and email them to me.

Teacher’s Notes
If there are students who do not have cell phones, pair students up so that everyone can participate. Once the students return with their pictures and email them to me, I open them on the overhead projector so we can discuss them as a class. Here are some of the questions we use to talk about the individual pictures and the point of the project as a whole:
  • Why did you choose this picture?
  • Was this the first picture you took of this object? 
  • Do you think that this is the perspective most people use when they look at this object? 
  • What does taking multiple pictures of the same thing do to the way you see it?
  • How can you apply this idea to a topic that you write about?
  • What do you think of your own perspective? How can you practice seeing the world in more ways?
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