Lesson Plans

Blue Sky Days: Tomas van Houtryve Visit Prep

Image by Tomas van Houtryve. United States, 2014.

"In October 2012, a drone strike in northeast Pakistan killed a 67-year-old woman picking okra outside her house. At a briefing held in 2013 in Washington, the woman’s 13-year-old grandson, Zubair Rehman, spoke to a group of five lawmakers. 'I no longer love blue skies,' said Rehman, who was injured by shrapnel in the attack. 'In fact, I now prefer gray skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are gray.'

"Over the past decade, drones have become the weapon of the United States military and the CIA for strikes overseas. Their use for surveillance and commercial purposes is also rapidly expanding both at home and abroad."

-Tomas van Houtryve's project page for "Blue Sky Days," Pulitzer Center website

For this project, van Houtryve attached his camera to a commercial drone and flew it over parts of the United States, photographing the country from a drone's-eye view.

Educator Notes: 

In this lesson, students will watch Tomas van Houtryve's "Meet the Journalist" video and discuss his project "Blue Sky Days." 

Note: There is some disturbing imagery in Tomas's "Meet the Journalist" video and it should be previewed by teachers ahead of time.

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