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Comprehensive photojournalism review & exam


In this two-day lesson, students will play a game of Snowball Fight to review history & ethics information.  Then, they will play Two Truths and a Lie to review material from the other units of the photojournalism module. During the second day of the lesson, students will take the photojournalism module exam.


  • Students will review important ideas that they have learned regarding photojournalism’s history.
  • Students will review aspects of exposure, composition, story telling, sports and portrait photography, and photo editing.
  • Students will take an exam to evaluate their knowledge and mastery of photojournalism content.

Common Core State Standards

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6 Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.


Two-three 45-minute classes


“Snowballs” for snowball fight

Class set: Comprehensive exam AND photo story for critique

Comprehensive exam key

Lesson step-by-step

Day 1 — Review Activities

During this class period, students will play two review games to prepare themselves for tomorrow’s exam. If your students need more time, you can easily spend two days on these activities.

Activity #1: Snowball fight (reviewing history & ethics)

Prior to today’s lesson, write the questions listed below on separate sheets of paper (you can have 2 copies of each question, if you would like).  Then, crumple those pieces of paper up into “snowballs” so they are ready for the snowball fight.

Separate students into two teams and position them on different sides of your classroom. Tell students that on the teacher’s command, they can pick up a snowball and throw it across the room.  Students can continue to throw snowballs until the teacher calls time, at which point the students must stop, grab a snowball, unwrap it, and answer the question (they can also turn to someone next to them to answer the question together). Then, on the teacher’s command, they can begin throwing again.

Repeat this process until students start to see the same questions over and over again. Then, spend time going over all of the questions together.

Questions to include:

1. What was Alexander Gardner famous for?

2. What was Carol Szathmari famous for?

3. What was Dorthea Lange famous for?

4. What was Eadward Muybridge famous for?

5. What was Frank Luther Mott famous for?

6. What was George Eastman famous for?

7. What was Louis Daguerre famous for?

8. What was Mathew Brady famous for?

9. What was William Henry Fox Talbot famous for?

10. Who was responsible for creating a photography exposure in 30 seconds?

11. Who was responsible for taking photos of the Crimean War (first photojournalist)?

12. Who was responsible for developing the first roll film for a camera?

13. Who was responsible for taking the famous photo “Migrant Mother”?

14. Who was responsible for photographing the Civil War at President Lincoln’s request?

15. Who was responsible for taking photos of a galloping horse?

16. Who was responsible for publishing the first illustrated book?

17. Who was responsible for coining the term “photojournalism”?

18. Who was accused of moving bodies before photographing Civil War battle scenes?

Activity #2: Two truths & a lie (reviewing exposure, composition, captions, tips/tricks, editing)

Assign each student a test topic.  Then, give them 1-2 minutes to write down three statements about that topic: two statements that are true, and one statement that is a lie.

Then, ask each student to stand at the front of the classroom and read their topic and their three statements.  Students in the classroom should attempt identify which statement is a lie.  Then, the teacher can also use correct and incorrect answers as ways to review important skills and topics.

If your students are competitive, you can do this in teams or partnerships and keep track of the score somewhere.

List of topics to review:

  1. Composition rules
    1. Thirds
    2. repetition
    3. angles
    4. strong subject
    5. framing
    6. leading lines
    7. selective focus
  2. Caption writing rules (newspaper & yearbook)
  3. News & feature photography
  4. Sports photography
  5. Motion photography (panning v. freezing)
  6. Portraits
  7. Natural lighting
  8. Exposure
  9. ISO
  10. Aperture
  11. Flash
  12. Shutter Speed
  13. White Balance
  14. Metering
  15. Manual mode
  16. File names
  17. Dodge/burn
  18. Cutout
  19. Cropping
  20. Color correction (levels, curves)
  21. RAW

Day 2 — Exam

Students have the entire period to complete the exam for the photojournalism module.