Lesson Plans

Okur: Thinking Like a Journalist

Investigating Images: Explore and Predict

Look at the photos and note things you see.

Consider the following:

  1. What do you think is happening in this photo?
  2. Where could this photo have been taken?
  3. Why do you think the journalist that took this photo thought this moment was important?

Generate questions you have about the photos.

This process follows the “I see, I think, I wonder” pattern that can also be used to analyze art!

Evaluating Captions:

Pick a favorite photo and look on the back to find out more information about it.

Consider the following:

  1. What new information do you gain from the caption?
  2. What interests you in the caption? What words are popping?

These photos were actually all taken by the same journalist as part of one project.

  1. Predict: Why would one journalist be taking all of these photos?
  2. Brainstorm: What questions do you have about this journalist and his project?

National Geographic Fellow Paul Salopek and the Out of Eden Walk:

Watch the attached video “Meet the Journalist Paul Salopek.”

As you watch the video, consider the following questions:

  1. What is the Out of Eden Walk?
  2. What is slow journalism and how is Paul Salopek using it as part of this project?

Exploring Slow Journalism:

  1. Brainstorm: What do you need to do to report “slowly?”
  2. Watch the video “Out of Eden Walk: Slowing the Reporting Metabolism” and take note of the tips Salopek offers for slow reporting.
  3. Practice noticing using the following mindfulness exercises:

Shape Hunt:

  • For ten seconds, note all of the circles in the room.

  • Now, allow yourself a full minute to look for circles in the room.

  • What additional things did you notice in the room?

  • Try the activity above again with rectangles and the color red.

Sound Map:

  • On a sheet of paper, create an outline of the room. Identify the boundaries for your sound map. Make a dot where you are sitting.

  • For a full minute, listen for sounds in the room. Note where the sounds are coming from on your map.

Writing Out of Eden Walk Milestones:

Read the milestone description and then read the following milestones, noting how Paul engages all senses to notice a place slowly. Use the descriptions to identify connections Paul makes between what he sees and larger issues in the world. Be prepared to share why you think Paul included each of the following milestones:

Brainstorm: What are elements of a strong milestone description?

Write a Milestone Capturing This Moment:

Take the next few minutes to observe this room, reflect on this workshop and write a milestone capturing this workshop.

Try to use elements from the Out of Eden Walk milestones to structure your description.

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