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Through the Lens of Robert Capa
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Nothing tells a story like a picture - and Robert Capa's pictures are some of the most famous in the world. Capa, the preeminent documentarian of 20th century war, photographed five epic conflicts on three different continents. He was a life-long pacifist who wore military uniforms, rode in tanks, jumped out of planes, dodged bullets and marched in the front lines in order to get a shot. As John Steinbeck once said, "he could photograph thought... and capture worlds." In this lesson, students will use Guided Reading techniques to learn about Capa's style and to discover the techniques that made him a great photographer. Students will also learn the basics of telling compelling stories through photos. In the culminating activity, each student will create a photo essay telling a story that has personal significance.

Grade Level:
High School

Time Allotment:
  • One session for the introduction
  • One hour to view the AMERICAN MASTERS episode on Robert Capa
  • Three hours to work on photo essays
  • One hour for presentations

    Subject Matter:
    World War II, Photography

    Learning Objectives:
    Students will be able to:
    • Create their own photo essay.
    • Learn about World War II and other wars through the use of photographic images.
    • Understand how to take more interesting photographs.
    • Create a story or narrative based on images chosen for the photo essay.

    National Standards:

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 5
    Uses the general skills and strategies of the reading process

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 8
    Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes

    MCREL LANGUAGE ARTS, Level 4, Standard 9
    Uses viewing skills and strategies to understand and interpret visual media

    MCREL TECHNOLOGY, Level 4, Standard 2
    Knows the characteristics and uses of computer software programs.

    This lesson was prepared by: Anna Chan Rekate

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