Woodland Students Create Exhibit Inspired by Renowned Photographer

May 17, 2017 ~ For the Woodland Elementary Fine Arts Fair, fifth-grade students held a special exhibit inspired by a global photography sensation.

Fifth Grade Humans of Woodland was inspired by "The New York Times" best-seller and renowned photoblog Humans of New York. Woodland art teacher Kalli Lempka implemented the project while collaborating with Millbrooke Elementary art teacher Katie Anderson.

Students learned about contemporary artist Brandon Stanton who is the creator of Humans of New York. The project utilizes photography and writing to tell an honest, personal story of each participant. On a smaller scale, Lempka helped students by writing prompts for subject matter and discussed photography basics to let student creativity unfold.

Working in pairs, students used iPads to take pictures that would help tell their personal story. Students then were to ask each other questions using prompts previously written by Lempka.
Prompts included favorite hobbies, memories, and their thoughts about attending middle school next year.

"First we had our students take pictures with the iPads, we discussed the rule of thirds and what makes for good photographs. Students were able to pick the setting and location for their photos knowing they would be used to tell a story," said Lempka. "Students then worked on their ability to elaborate when being asked questions for the photo captions."

"I'm extremely impressed in Kalli's expertise in teaching complex art concepts to our students. The quality of products our students produce is second to none," Principal Stacy Shipley said. "I could not take my eyes of the Humans of Woodland photography project created by our fifth-grade students. Kalli was able to teach the concepts of lighting and other modern photography techniques which created a display of student voices through photos."

girls look at picture on iPad Two girls looked at photos they’d taken on their iPad to make sure they had the lighting and framing the way they wanted it.
girls take photos on playground The playground made a good setting for photos with a beautiful sky-blue background as these girls learned.
art teacher Kalli Lempka Woodland art teacher, Kalli Lempka stands with the Fifth Grade Humans of Woodland exhibit.
Fifth Grade Humans of Woodland exhibit

Students used photographs to advance the narrative of their story.

Photos by Cody Kennedy