Learning Research Skills Through Digital Photography

Learning Research Skills Through Digital Photography

Using digital photographs for research allows students to examine the world we live in.

Often we limit our idea of technology to computers. While computers are integral to fully manipulating digital photographs the emphasis is on the tools used to investigate and analyze data.

Materials Needed

  • digital camera
  • computer
  • display board
  • student journal


  1. Take your patrons outside the library. Ask patrons to take digital photos of plants, trees, animals, birds, insects, and other living things about the school campus. Does a teacher have a pet gerbil? Include this as part of the photo safari.
  2. Using their photographs as guides students should use encyclopedias, other appropriate research books, and websites, to identify as many of the trees, plants, and animals as possible.
  3. Have students record their findings in their journals. If they are writing their journals by hand they can past a small photo of the item next to the entry. If they are creating their journals in a computer document this is a good opportunity to teach them how to insert photos, position them, resize them, and lock them in the document so they don't move.
  4. Have students create a mural on their display board. An alternative display is to have students create a computer slide show.

Further Analysis

  1. Students can analyze the differences in the animals, insects, and plants during the different seasons. Does a specific type of tree that lives in the area differ from the same type of tree when it in another area of the world? Are all the plants original to your area or were they brought in by people?
  2. Create a joint project with a school in another part of the country. How do the photographs taken at one school differ from those taken at your school? Compare and contrast the findings.

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