Claire Collison / Visual Literacy activities / Westminster Academy

Activity: Radio Has The Best Pictures

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This activity invites students to become radio journalists. It is amazing how even reticent students will open up if asked to speak one to one, and into a mic. Perhaps it is the role-play, the prop, or the individual attention. Whatever the reason, it works.

How to:

This works best in a gallery. Once students have had an opportunity to look at the work on display, invite them individually to select an image they feel comfortable with describing. Ask them to imagine they are radio journalists. Their listener is at home, and it is their job to paint a picture in the mind’s eye. Record them on the Dictaphone. Begin by asking them to say their own name. Get as close to the photo as possible. What is happening?

Outcomes/ Learning objectives:

To encourage students to develop confidence in saying what they see – in their own words. To realise what quality and amount of information is needed to communicate, and to experience what happens when you deliver a commentary on a photograph: inevitably you begin to notice more and more detail. You start to imagine the story behind the photograph.

You will need:

Dictaphone, and a photography exhibition: if you are able, find a quiet gallery containing a good range of images. Documentary and social photography work extremely well for this exercise; we used a gallery of Henry Wessel prints at Tate Modern



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