The gratitude Project. Giving students work, meaning
Every year in November I assign "The Gratitude Project". Many of my students often come back to this project because it allows them to apply what they have learned in class to express an emotion. It validates that what they are learning is not just to pass a test, but to share it with the world. Before we begin I show them the Ted Talk, "Nature. Beauty. Gratitude." by Louie Schwartzberg. After the video we discuss the word gratitude.
Students are to take a picture a day for a week, either with their cellphones or cameras, of what they grateful for. We have already discussed simple photography principles. Some years I change it up to take pictures of something that can express gratitude. At the end of the week, students gather all of their images and edit them in Photoshop (this is where I have them use the wonderful Camera Raw filter). The premise is to artistically add text or textures to add emotion to the overall image. Once they are done editing their images, they select 2 to 3 images to print out on photo paper. They give this print to someone they want to express gratitude towards.