Helen Cammock / Hendon School



Materials Needed:

  • A range of printed photographic images (that particularly utilise both colour and different kinds of lighting).
  • Enough images for small group work.



– Thinking creatively about and understanding composition

– Communicating meaning through visual imagery

Differentiation Strategies (to be discussed with teacher)

  • Support teachers in class to further support those who need it. These adults are part of each activity.

Step by Step:

This activity is designed for students to make choices about images and then to be able to communicate both their choice and their perspectives and thoughts to the small group they are in.


If you have enough staff it is great to have an adult with each group – if not it is important that staff move around the small groups to support the group discussions.



Divide the group into small groups (of 4/5)


Ask each person to select an image that they are drawn to (either because they like it, don’t like it, think it is problematic or exciting etc) and to consider the elements outlined in 3.


Explain that each person will be asked to describe how the colour and/or the lighting in the impacts on the way the image is understood. In other words what does it do to:

  1. The meaning of the image
  2. The feeling/mood of the image
  3. The aesthetic (visual quality) of the image


  • Ask each person to share with the group their chosen image and their responses to question 3.
  • Ask the group to feed back their thoughts on each image presented so that dialogues begin to emerge between students. (Inevitably each person may have slightly different perspectives on each image).
  • After each person has discussed their image – if you have time ask everyone to choose another and repeat.
  • If you don’t have a lot of time skip number 6.
  • Ask each group to choose one of the images they have discussed to present to the whole group. Ask them to give;
  1. An example of the meaning of the image
  2. An example of the feeling/mood for the image
  3. The aesthetic (visual quality) of the image
  4. A title for the image (that is agreed by the group). Ask everyone to be creative and to think conceptually when titling their chosen image.

It is important to keep the groups on track so they are able to both experience the discussions and to feed back confidently to the wider group representing their groups opinions.  



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