Helen Cammock / Hendon School / Visual Literacy activities

Activity: Representing/conveying emotion in images



This activity asks students to identify different emotions they see in photographs, and make their own images in response.

BEFORE SESSION :Create a slideshow from images that will stimulate ideas, thoughts and responses.

  1. Explain the activity to the group and open your slideshow up
  1. Ask your group to look at these images and call out an emotion that could be conveyed by the images in the slideshow (either students put their hands up or ask the teacher to ask individual students so that everyone has an opportunity to contribute as you write the words up on the board).
  1. Begin to fill the whiteboard with the words contributed by the class.
  1. Move through the slides – asking up to 4 people per slide to contribute.
  1. Ask each student/participant to then select 2 emotions from the compiled list that they would like to represent in an image.
  1. Ask them to think for a moment how they might create an image that conveys the emotion for each of the two selected images.

Ask them to think about:

  1. Colour
  2. Lighting (light and dark, shadow)
  3. What you leave in the image and what you leave out of the image.
  4. Symbolism and Metaphor


Explain/revisit these concepts/ideas/techniques


  1. Use some of the images that members of the group have already created over the sessions to use as examples of some of these.
  2. Everyone needs to write their chosen words on a ‘post it note’.
  3. Ask everyone to work in pairs and hand cameras out.
  4. Give everyone 10/15 minutes to make their images (depending on the length of your session) (2 each person)
  5. Decide where the parameters of where the images can be made – In the room/classroom or in the building or in the grounds. Make sure everyone understands where they can go to make their images.





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