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Pieces of Me

School: Explore Elementary School

City/State: San Diego, CA

Grade(s): 3

Format(s): Photography

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Visual Arts

Project Overview

This book was created by third grade students at Explore Elementary School in San Diego, California. This book is the final product in a larger project combining technical photography skills, visual arts, writing and self-expression.

To create this book students learned about photography through a program called “Outside the Lens”.  The curriculum included learning about different types of photography, how to use a camera, and how to use light, shadow and composition in a photograph.

This book features individual students and their favorite body parts. Each page includes a photograph (taken by a fellow student) of each individual’s favorite body part and hand written text explaining why they selected that part.  

A similar project, “Our Favorite Body Parts”, created by pre-school children at the Santa Fe School for the Arts can be seen in this archive. 

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • A beautiful model of the value of capturing words and ideas of students as they appear – hand written and not overly edited
  • The large size of the book (12” x 12”) and professional printing is both appropriate for displaying high-quality black and white photographs and empowering for young students
  • Highlights individual student work within a larger collaborative class project

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can use linking words to connect my opinion and reasons.
  • With support from adults, I can produce writing that is appropriate to task and purpose.
  • I can use grammar conventions to send a clear message to a reader or listener.
  • I can use conventions to send a clear message to my reader.
  • I can compare how people use language when they write versus when they talk.
  • I can accurately use 3rd grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
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