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Aspects of exposure: Middle school


In this 2-day lesson, students will research an aspect of exposure.  They will learn about that aspect and prepare a poster that includes explanations and examples and activities in order to teach the rest of the class about that exposure aspect.


  • Students will learn factual information about different exposure techniques, including aperture, ISO, metering, shutter speed, flash, and white balance.
  • Students will prepare a multimedia poster that includes explanations and examples about an exposure aspect.
  • Students will gather information from a variety of sources to inform their decisions about the presentations.
  • Students will collaborate with other students.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.IT.9-10.7 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.


Two 45-minute lessons


Slideshow: Aspects of exposure (middle school)

Handout: Aspects of exposure poster

Computers and resources for students to use while researching

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1

1. Building background — 10 minutes

Have students answer these questions in their notebook as a quickwrite. What does the word “expose” mean? What does it refer to when it comes to photography?  What types of exposure do you already know about?  How do you think exposure affects photos?

2. Introduce project — 5 minutes

Split students into five groups. Assign each group one of the following – Shutter Speed, ISO, Aperture, White Balance, Flash. Explain to students how they will be responsible for making a poster in a group for one aspect of exposure and you will be doing a gallery walk to see other group’s posters, teaching the class about one aspect of exposure. Students will be responsible for researching that aspect, learning about it, and finding examples.

*One way to make sure they get the information they need is to post the slideshow to Google Classroom or print it out 3 slides per page. They can review that before starting their research.

3. Research — 30 minutes

Give students the rest of the period to begin researching their exposure technique and trying to understand.

Day 2

1. Work time – 20 minutes

Give students 20 minutes to work on their presentations.  Since these concepts and skills are difficult to understand, the teacher should spend significant time with each group to verify that they are planning/creating their poster using correct material and understanding the concepts that they have been assigned.

2. Gallery Walk – 20 minutes

Once students finish their poster, print it out and hang it up somewhere around the room. If you don’t want to print it, you can have one student from each group pull up the poster on their computer and leave it at their table. In their groups, they need to rotate to each poster and write down important information about each aspect of exposure. On the bottom of their assignment instructions, there are boxes for them to write information from the other posters.