What do I know about my own or my family’s immigration story?
What can I learn from my family about our immigration story?
What does is mean to be an immigrant?
How do I tell a story with words?
How can I tell a story with photographs?
We've started a new unit looking at what it means to tell a story, through text and/or photographs. We've been talking about immigration, given that Jackson Heights is one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world, and trying to get at our own immigration stories—or if not ours—than we go home and ask our parents.
On the second day of this unit we had some students read their work aloud, Donald read: (click on the image to enlarge)
And Tasnima shared with us: (click on the image to enlarge)
Once our stories are written we start to sketch them out, imagining how we would tell the story visually. We use Working Playground's tool, Storyboarding as a Graphic Organizer. It's important here to think about composition, creating CLOSE-UPS as well as WIDE SHOTS, but it's also necessary to think about SEQUENCE, meaning the order of the images. Here's an example done by Fariha, who picked out IMAGERY from Tasnima's story and did a brilliant job imagining extreme close-ups, regular close-ups, medium shots, wide shots, and even extreme wide-shots. Click on image to enlarge.
We've also looked at photo essays with text, like The New Americans, by writer Ruben Martinez (US citizen of Mexican/Salvadoran origin) and photographer Joseph Rodriguez (US citizen of Puertorican origin).
A lot of us are interested in documents, photographs, or objects that somehow tell a story about our family's histories. From The New Americans, here are some images that do that in an interesting way, including the person in the image: