Last October, I went on a month-long shopping fast -- I gave up shopping, because I was feeling overwhemed by my closet and the things inside it. To help me see what I had in my closet and how could make the most of my wardrobe, I started photographing what I was wearing every day and posting the photos on Flickr. This simple exercise was so incredibly useful to me, in more than one way -- the pictures, and the act of taking them, gave me a chance to be conscious about how my clothes were working and how I was presenting myself every day. It was simple and fun and useful.
Photographs offer us a powerful way to see who we are in the world. For kids with disabilities, a photograph can be more than just a moment captured; it can help give them a sense of place. One teacher, Ms. S, is asking for a digital camera for her classroom. She teaches middle school in a high-poverty district in Ohio; her students are special needs kids with a range of disabilities.
To begin the new school year, I would like my students to use a
digital camera to document who they are. They will then print the
pictures and make a coat of arms to introduce themselves to their new
classmates. They will also be asked to write sentences to go along with
the visual images.
In this lesson, students will learn how to use a digital camera,
how to print pictures, interaction with peers and most importantly how
to express themselves creatively. This will be an integrated lesson
among technology, social studies and English. The lesson will help
students understand the middle ages (coat of arms), technology (taking
pictures and printing) and English (putting their thoughts into words).
These materials can also be used for future projects like: collecting
data for life cycles in science, documenting different geometric shapes
around town in math and so many more.
Most students have never used a digital camera and were
fascinated with seeing themselves in the photo screen. After getting
his picture taken with his prized student award and seeing it on the
picture screen, one of my autistic students said, "Well, color me
happy! I'm a handsome one!". The electricity in his eyes jolted my
heart. I want to see that same excitement in all of my students' eyes.
Ms. S's project is so simple, but for her students it may be life-changing. She's not asking for much -- she needs a digital camera with a printing dock and an SD card for her classroom; the total cost of her project is just over $400.00. That's nothing, really, if you think about it in dollars, but it will be everything for her students.
Please helpout -- even a small donation will make a difference for these kids. You can read about -- and contribute to -- Ms. S's project here. If this project doesn't grab you, there are others -- you can see all the projects my fellow BlogHer Contributing Editors are supporting, plus hundreds more, at DonorsChose.org.
And thank you for your contribution.
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