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History through Photos I


BEFORE you listen to the audio, write for seven minutes in response to this photo. Imagine yourself as the person in the photo, or one of the children or the photographer. Tell the story. Tell the backstory. Look at details; where might this be? What's going on? 

After you finish. Take a look at some of your classmate's responses. Give one of them -- someone who hasn't gotten a response -- a comment. 
 



ONCE you have done that, listen to the recording. The woman speaking is Florence Leona Owens Thompson, 1903-1983. She is the woman pictured in this 1936 iconic photograph by Dorothea Lange. Lange was working for the Resettlement Administration and Farm Security Administration documenting the Great Depression and happened upon Thompson, a migrant worker with seven children. Lange took six photographs without getting the woman's name and left. Both Lange and Thompson came to dislike the photograph for different reasons: Lange felt it became a symbol and no longer felt it was her work; Thompson said she felt ashamed -- but determined never to be that poor again. 

There is much more to Florence Thompson's story and to the story of this photograph (if you wish to find out more, see: https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org/node/285) which, among other things, was a catalyst for the writer John Steinbeck to write Grapes of Wrath a story focusing on the plight of migrant workers in the Depression.   The intention of this challenge, though, is to help you feel -- and understand -- the potential for narrative within historical research and interviews.
 


Potential follow-up projects:
  • Go to your local Historical Society and explore their archive of photographs. Do any particularly move you, interest you? If so, use that as a jumping off point for finding out about the people, situation or time period within the photograph. See what records your Historical Society has. Check with the library. Are their any living witnesses? Or elders who may have memories of their ancestors' stories.
  • Go to a relative or an elder in your community and ask if they'd be willing to share an old photo and tell stories about the photo and the times depicted in the photo.
  • Explore a particular historic event in your community -- something that happened that was significant such as a natural disaster or war or major achievement or change. Look for photos -- and even old audio recordings. 

In all of these, combine what you find -- photos and sound -- with text to create a compelling story. 

[Photo Credit: Dorothea Lange, Library of Congress]

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Jul 31

Commenting - Part I

As a group, make a plan for the best way to give and receive comments. 


External readers -- peers, teachers, friends -- can provide you an honest response to your writing along with specific observations that can help you improve your work and your ability to learn how to edit yourself -- a vital skill to being able to express yourself well.

For those giving the feedback, the key is to:
1. Notice what you notice when you are reading someone else's work;
2. Articulate what you notice in a way that is well-received.
3. AND, if you can give the writer some details on where you got confused, or where you got really interested, that will help them immensely.
4. A hidden gain is that you, the commenter, will begin to look at your own work with the same objectivity and this will help you improve as a writer.

With this exercise, you'll need to get your teacher(s) involved:

  • Conduct a classroom discussion to set the guidelines for giving feedback in this digital space. YWP encourages students to lead the discussion with the teacher taking notes that everyone can see (projector? smartboard?) Some questions to ask each other:
  1. What is the purpose of commenting? Why are we providing each other comments?
  2. What is a useful comment?
  3. What should be the focus of our comments?
  4. Should we comment on grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc?
  5. What about throwaway language, like "That's amazing!" "You're a great writer!"
  6. Should everyone get a comment? How do we ensure that?

Establish some guidelines and then have someone post them in Resources on your site.

Some resources on commenting: Overview: https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org/node/273; On Commenting: https://mycommunity.ywpvt.org/node/240

Status: 
Jul 31
Grace's picture

Basic Recording Tips

When recording someone, or yourself, there are a few tips that will make your experience go that much smoother. 

Renting. Now of days, you can record on your phone, but if you want to have a slightly higher quality recording, many people opt to use an actual audio recorder. You can often rent audio equipment at your local library, at your school, or through community programs. 

Questions. There are a few questions you should find the answers to before committing to a recording device. How much many minutes does your device record? Do you need to charge it? How do you get your files off the machine, and in what format are they? When was it lasted tested for functionality? Is it compatible with x device? Etc. 

Test. Before recording, you should test your device. Test to see if it works, and to see what your audio quality is like. 

Practice. Get familiar with your device. Learn where all of the buttons and functions are. Practice recording. How loudly does what you are recording need to speak? How close do you physically need to be? 

Placement. You need to think about the placement of your device. You will generally get a better quality recording if your device is placed on a flat, unmoving surface. Wood or glass is better than fabric. Make sure the device is close to the person who is speaking, but not so close that they are breathing into it (a sound that decreases the quality of your audio). Generally, a good "baseline placement" is at a 45 degree angle from the mouth. Plus, make sure nothing, like a finger, is obstructing the microphone. 

Location. You don't want the audio to decrease in quality because of the sound of a fan, or cars in the background. Before you record, survey your surroundings. Will this spot make for a clean recording? 

Ticks. If you are conducting a lengthy interview, it's a long process to go through your audio recording to find those golden bits of information. A way to help you find the information you want when you are sorting through your file is to make ticks. A tick is a sharp sound you make when you are recording, like a snap or a tap. This sudden audio pip will become an identifiable spike in your track when you look at the file, so you will know to look at that spot in the recording. Make sure the sound you make isn't distracting to the person you are interviewing. 

[Creative Commons Lisence: Mathias Miranda, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mathiasmiranda/]

Resource?: 
Yes
Jul 31
Grace's picture

Interviewing Musts

When performing an interview, there are a few basic rules you need to remember — whether it be for legal reasons, general courtesy, or credibility. 

Permission. You have to ask permission to interview someone. You must ask if you can disclose information like their name, and ask if you can quote them. You also must tell them where this information will be published. In addition, if you are going to record this interview on a device, or if you want to take their picture, you have to ask permission for both. 

Tell. You have to tell them what you are writing about in full. If your article is about people who are against GMOs in Vermont, you cannot tell them your article is just about GMOs. You need to let them know everything they are getting into. You should also tell them who you are, your role, and who you are associated with. 

Basic Info. The basic information you want to get about the person you are interviewing is their name, age, hometown, and their profession (if applicable). This information will round out the person you are interviewing in a story, and will make your information more credible. 

Word for word. You want to make sure you get their quotes as exact as possible. When writing your piece, you can delete extraneous terms such as "um," "like," and "huh" that drag the story down. You can even fix their grammar a touch if their sentence is completely incomprehensible. But you do not want to misquote them. Not only are they misrepresented, but you could get in trouble for it. Recording your interview can help with accuracy. 

Off the record. If someone asks you not to include a piece of information they just said, you have to respect their wishes. Being respectful of the person you are speaking to is everything. If they want to end the interview, you have to respect that request as well. 

Digital media. If you want to have photos, for, say, an article, you need to follow a few photojournalism rules. If you have less than five people in a photo, you have to get the name, age, and hometown of each individual and mention it in a caption. You also cannot alter the photo. Meaning, you cannot use Photoshop to make someone's nose smaller, or to cast one person in bad light. You can only make edits such as making the photo black and white, or making the photo brighter or darker to enhance the quality. 

Audio. Remember, you have to ask permission to record someone. It is also polite to have your recorder out in the open instead of a place like your pocket, so that they feel more comfortable. Note: test your audio recording device before you start the interview to make sure it works, and so that you are practiced enough in using it that you don't waste your interviewee's time. 

Thanks. Always thank the person you have interviewed. Also, exchange contact information with them. That way, you can ask them a follow up question or they can send you more information. 

Give them a copy. It's always courteous to send a copy of the piece you wrote containing your interview to the interviewee. In the very least, tell them where they can find the writing. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]

Resource?: 
Yes
Jul 31

Advice from a Friend -- Editing 1

Use one of your My Community pieces that you have not yet edited for this exercise. Analyze your own strategy, the strategies of others, and make a new revision strategy.  


1. Think about how you usually edit your writing -- not the grammar and spelling, but large revisions like adjusting the structure, checking for clarity, honing your point (thesis). Write down your own process; what works best for you? 
2. Ask two friends how they go about editing. Write down their processes. Do the same with a teacher. 
3. Look at all of the processes you have gathered. Did you pick up some ideas? Which do you like best? Would a combination of them all work best as your editing process/ strategy?
4. Make a new editing process from what you have gathered, and start revising your My Community piece. 

Reflect: Do you think your new strategy is better than your original? 

[Creative Commons Lisence: Flixelpix David, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/flixel/]

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Jul 31

Grammar Memorization

If you're having issues learning grammar rules, this activity will help. For this activity, find a friend, and a recent My Community piece you need to edit for grammar. 


First, make sure you have all of your large edits done on your piece -- structure, tone, point of view, etc.; don't edit for grammar. 

Second, print three copies of your piece. Give a copy to a friend, an adult (like a teacher), and yourself. You all should edit the piece for grammar. 

Third, compare all of the pieces. With what grammar rules do you most struggle? Comma usage? Semicolons? The hyphen? Identify your struggle areas, and make a list. 

Fourth, learn each grammar rule on your list, and come up with a creative way to memorize these rules. Maybe you could create drawings, or rhymes, or make a song. Find the best way to help you learn these rules. Check out the Grammar Memorization Resource for some memorization strategies. Or comment memorization strategies on the work of your peers. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang] 

Status: 
Jul 31

Group Editing

This is a revision activity you could do with your class on a My Community piece you need to edit. It will help you get a better idea of what you should look for when you are editing, and it will give you a better idea of what you struggle with in your own writing. 


First, with your class, make a list of things you typically revise in writing. Example: consistent thesis, clarity, smooth transitions, redundancy, order, length, etc. Avoid things such as grammar and typos. Focus on the big ideas in the editing process. 

Second, look for each of these items in your class list in your own writing. Do you need to revise some of these areas? All of these areas? Keep track of what you think you need to do. 

Third, give your piece to two friends in your class. Using the class list, have them look for the areas they think you need to work on. 

Finally, compare the three lists. What were the similar areas that need to be worked on? Focus on those, and have a conversation with your two friends about what you need to revise. Each of your friends should come up with one solution to each problem area. With these trouble areas and possible solutions in mind, start revising. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]

Status: 
Jul 31
admin's picture

Commenting -- Overview

To create a writing classroom, feedback becomes an important part of the work. This is where youths learn that the secret to good writing is good self-editing, that exchange of feedback builds community and that external audience fosters purpose and self-motivation. In digital writing, the most complete method of providing feedback involves three and sometimes four circles of responses to the writing:

  • the writer reading his/her own work, 
  • the writer’s peers reading the work,
  • the teacher reading the work, and
  • the outside world reading the work. 

It is good for students and the teachers to talk about these audiences early on to determine their relative importance overall and in specific projects. How can these circles be involved in helping the students gain interest in, improve and polish their work? How can the students help each other? How can they use regular feedback to improve their ability to edit their own work?

Feedback Circle One:   Responding to One’s Own Writing
It is always important for the writers to know they have control and they need to crucial to take responsibility for their own learning, their own editing and for how the work turns out. It is important that they develop an ongoing reflective practice as they write. Here are some effective practices for a student writer:

  • Read a piece aloud, or, better yet, record it; reflect on what you noticed about the piece. Did it sound like you? Did your tongue trip up? Are their spots you want to change?
  • Set judgment aside: Too often we are hampered by our own self-judgment, "It's no good," "I'm no good at writing," or "I didn't have enough time." Those obscure your own ability to see what's good and what needs fixing.
  • Read and reflect: Read your post and then reflect on what you wanted the work to accomplish. Does it work? Are there some points not made? Some points that are not clear?
  • In a digital space, write a comment on your piece as if you were an outside reader. Notice what you are noticing and be specific.
The young writer should keep in mind that the process of reflection and reviewing one's own work never stops. The Nobel author Toni Morrison says that one time when she was publicly reading a passage of her work -- written 25 years previously -- she suddenly realized the word she had been searching for when she first wrote the piece.


Teachers, meanwhile, can help this self-reflection process by revealing their own early drafts, or finding drafts of famous authors' early work to slowly take away the great "mystery" of writing that so inhibits many young writers.


Feedback Circle Two: Peers Responding
Many teachers YWP has worked with over the years say that a key to good peer-to-peer feedback is trust. So from the first day of a class, students and teachers should work to build a classroom community in which students value and respect each other. It is important that the students feel they can take risk without being made fun of; they need to know that they are not judged. To gain voice, young writers need skills -- and confidence. This practice of building trust can be nurtured through a series of exercises, particularly in a digital space like the YWP classroom platform. It can be assisted by a regular practice of having students give each other constructive feedback on each other's writing. And it is greatly enhanced if the teachers are also posting in response to challenges and opening their own work to feedback.

In surveys and interviews with hundreds of young writers over the years, YWP has learned that students value peer feedback almost as highly as they value feedback from teachers and getting outside recognition (publication) for their writing. That is a remarkable finding. As adults, we tend to dismiss the power of peer feedback as a learning tool and look at "peer pressure" as a negative force.

So moving the students' writing out into a group, no matter how early on in the process, can be of real benefit. They can hear back what their writing means to readers who have only the words -- none of the thoughts or context or background that lie in the mind of the author.

There are several ways to do this feedback process:

  • Whether face-fo-face or on a digital classroom space, the rules of engagement should be clear. Allow the students to set the rules; YWP has done this exercise in countless classrooms and has been amazed to find that they prioritize exactly what adults would want, BUT since they are the students' rules, they are more apt to embrace them. The teacher can help the discussion by some well-placed questions, like, "Should everyone get a comment, and if so, how to we make sure that happens?" "What is the purpose of our commenting on each other's works?"
    • Overall, YWP suggests the 1+1 method, or ONE thing that the reader thought worked, or one observation they had about the piece or one thing that was surprising; and ONE thing the peer thinks the author could improve, or one thing that confused them or that they wondered about. 
  • Another suggestion: Make sure students go to the pieces that do not already have comments, that they choose students who they know least well and that they must accomplish 3 or 5 or 7 or whatever number within a certain time period. Make these comments part of their overall performance assessment. We also have developed in our own platform an ability for students and teachers to see whether responses to a challenge have garnered comments; this makes it easy to ensure that everyone gets some feedback.
  • In larger classes, set up feedback loops, groups of five students (rotating these groups every few weeks or so to keep the feedback unexpectedly fresh) per group, who, on the blog site, comment on each others' work.
  • Ask each writer to put in the comment section some questions of her/his own about the draft -- perhaps even suggesting some areas she/he needs help in.

There are a few things to keep in mind about peer-to-peer commenting in a digital space:

  • Everything the students write in digital spaces tend to be viewed as more harsh or more negative than they intended; they should watch the tone of their comments and ask themselves, "Would I want to receive this?" But students should be truthful.
  • Responders should be using phrases like "I wonder if..." rather than "You should do this..." This is all about honesty and respect.
  • From time to time, when you see comments that either really seem to do very little for the writer: “Hey, good job—I liked it a lot.  Keep everything just as you have it” or "that's amaaaazing" try to show the students that this is not what you -- or the student authors are looking for. Show this kind of response in class and talk about ways to work towards better responding. Some talking points:
    • How will responding well to other people’s writing serve our own writing?
    • How are reading well and writing well inextricably intertwined skills?
    • What is involved for us to read as writers and to write as readers?
    • How do we determine the intended audience of a piece? What are the expectations of different kinds of audiences? How can audience affect our choices in terms of content and expression? 
    • What are the essential elements to a story? A poem? An essay?
    • What is voice? 

Feedback Circle Three:  The Teacher Responding
Why not talk with the class about your role in the feedback circle? You have tremendous impact on your students. YWP has gleaned these interesting observations from students about their teachers:

  • They often put you in the same category as parents: "They had to tell me that it was good (or bad); he's my teacher."
  • They don't hear you clearly and often someone from the outside can say exactly the same thing and students will respond much more enthusiastically.
  • They see your primary purpose is to give a grade, to pass judgment.

Don't take it personally. Keep in mind how much help you can provide, but also understand that peers -- and even outside readers -- can help as much or more. A good rule of thumb in the feedback circle is to avoid full, teacherly responses for as long as possible, because no matter what you say, as soon as you do, the writer tends to not listen as much to his or her self or to peers. You then become the only audience that matters; you are the authority. 

Yet, particularly early in a semester, students crave your feedback; they want to hand things in the way they always have and get from the teacher what they need to do to make it an “A” level paper if it isn’t already. And, at the same time, you have much to offer -- you are experienced, you are a writer and you have opinions. So think about not writing detailed responses until the project is very near completion. And when you do respond, choose just a couple of issues most ripe for tackling and write about those.  Make sure you write about what works for you as a reader —where in the piece you find yourself thinking, engaged, enlightened.  She writes questions.

And make sure you can meet with students one-on-one in short (10-minute) conferences during which they are invited to bring something they feel is ready for your feedback. They must prepare for the conference by being ready to talk about their own response to the writing and about that of their peers. This is also a good opportunity to go into more detail about your written suggestions.

Here is another observation/siggestion that comes from YWP's experience of students doing digital writing: Teachers do not need to read everything students write on the YWP digital platform. This is a difficult concept. But students tend to write more online and you simply can't keep up. It's OK. In fact, a better use of your time is to provide honest, timely feedback on what you have read and on what is most important to the students.


The Fourth Circle:  Readers in the World

External audience is an extremely important part of the work in building a community of writers; this practice brings affirmation and internal motivation. YWP has worked with teachers who have brought outsiders into their sites or onto their students' blogs to comment. That's great but it is somewhat unwieldy. (If you would like YWP's help to set that up, we'd be glad to do so.)

But for the finished work, where is the audience? YWP suggests that the class, particularly when undertaking a part of the My Community Story program, think about who might be interested in what they create. School newspaper? School newsletter? Displayed on the walls? A public event in the cafeteria or auditorium? The local media? 

Think, too, about bringing other classrooms into the process or, even, pairing up with other schools in the state, country or across the globe. YWP can help with that, too.

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Resource?: 
Yes
Jul 31

Comedy

This is an activity you can do with your class, as it centers around positive lessons you have learned from your school community in an unusual way by using humor. Use humor to tell a story, and learn how to really engage an audience.
 

Humor can be a creative, and, well, hilarious way to get your opinion across about a certain topic. You can engage an audience about any topic — even one that was originally bland — and grab their attention throughout.

First, think about a funny or frustrating experience you had with one of these three things: a homework assignment, a group project, or a field trip.
 

Second, once you have your memory, think about how you could tell this story in a funny way, but ultimately show that you learned something from this community experience. Write a detailed outline of this story with a few jokes and messages you want to remember.


Third, with your class, everyone should get up and do their comedy routine. People shouldn’t be reading a prepared speech or paper. Just let the jokes flow naturally.

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Erik Short] 

 

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Soapbox Part I

A soapbox is an impromptu debate you make with a group — in this case, your class community. This is an activity you can do with your class to hopefully spark positive change in your community through the speeches you create in the classroom. 


First, with your class community, choose a community you are all in. It could be school, your town, your state, etc. Create a list of problems each of these communities face. Put all of these problems into a hat. 

Second, everyone get in a circle with the hat in the center. One person should be recording. One by one, everyone will go to the center of the circle, pick a problem out of the hat, and gave an impromptu two minute speech about the topic. Talk about how you can fix the problem, or about why it is so annoying in the first place. 

Look at "Soapbox Part II" for an expansion. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Aliya Schneider, 2013] 

 

Status: 
Jul 28
Grace's picture

Editing Process

Editing and revising a piece can be one of the hardest parts of writing. Yet, it is one of the most important stages of writing. Here is a suggested process to help you organize yourself when editing. 

1. Read your piece to yourself to find big problems. 
       When editing, let yourself be the first set of eyes. ONLY look at big picture items. Things such as topic/theme consistency, relevancy, clarity, voice, tone, imagery, order, message, and length are often looked at in this stage. If you are writing a narrative, or if you have a person in your story, you'll often consider the person's voice or character consistency throughout. 
       This is the point where you will often cut sentences or paragraphs, change the order, rewrite entire sections of your piece, or change your wording to make your piece more clear. BIG things are happening.

2. Give your piece to a friend for feedback. 
      You're still not done with big picture editing. Now you need a new set of eyes to look for the same problems that you did. Ask a friend to look for big picture problems. 
      It's helpful to give them three or four guiding questions to let them know exactly what you need. Example: 
       Did my tone in this piece come across as somber or pretentious? 
       Did I provide enough evidence to support my thesis? 
       Does this character stay consistent throughout, or do you think her personality starts to shift too much on page two? 


3. Order your tasks, and do your first revision. 
       Now that you have things you need to work on from two people, order your tasks from biggest to smallest. Meaning, if the biggest problem in your piece is an inconsistent message (the problem shows up most often, it creates the largest eye-sore in your piece), that is the problem you should tackle first. 
       Let's say you had four things you needed to fix: your conclusion was too long and vague, your main character had inconsistent motives, all of your transition sentences on page three were too forced, the internal voice vs. external voice of your secondary main character was inconsistent. The order of "biggest" to smallest, and what you should work on first, would be: the main character inconsistency, the secondary character's dialogue, the conclusion, and then the transition sentences. 

4. Look at what you have changed, and share it again. 
      Now you should read your piece. Did your edits work? Did your work improve? Give it to your friend again and ask if your second draft is better than your first. Revise again if you both agree there are more big picture issues. 

5. Read your work out loud. 
     The time has come to move onto smaller issues such as awkwardly worded sentences, redundant words, or unnecessary sentences. Read your work out loud. Does your piece sound natural? If you read it out loud and it doesn't sound natural, you'll know you have found a problem like awkward wording or order. Edit the problems you find. Keep reading out loud and editing until it sounds completely natural when spoken. 

6. Grammar. 
      Finally, we reach the smallest issue: grammar. Look at your piece for red and green squiggly lines. Find those typos and missing commas. One strategy to find typos is to turn your paper upside down and start polishing it. You have to focus more to read upside down, which makes you spot more mistakes. 
      Send it to your friend again and ask them to point out typos and grammar mistakes. 

[Creative Commons Lisence: StanJourdan, non-commerical, https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanjourdan/​]

Resource?: 
Yes

Perfect

Use this challenge as a fun writing activity that asks you tough questions about community. In the end, you might even have a really engaging discussion about what a "perfect" community really is. 


Think about the town, country, and world you live in now. What are the flaws of these communities? 

Create the "perfect" society. What would the government be like? Economy? Education? Functionality? Write about a world you think would be perfect to live in. 

Extension,
After you write, show your friends your perfect world. Discuss with them whether or not it would be better to live in your perfect world, or a flawed world. Look at the worlds they created too. 

[Creative Commons License: Leo the Sound Monster, non-commercial, https://www.flickr.com/photos/soundmonster/​]

Status: 
Jul 28

Teacher

Write about a positive memory you have with a teacher who made a difference in your life. Exercise your narrative skills, and reflect on lessons that have helped you grow. 


Teachers are part of your school community. Think back to all of your years at school. Who was the one teacher who really made a difference in your life? Did they encouraged your to do you best, gave you life changing advice, or helped shape your life in some way? 

Think about one specific memory you have with that teacher. Write the true story of that moment — what they did, and what you learned from it. 

Comment on the works of your peers. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang, 2016]

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Jul 28

Friends

One of the strongest communities we will ever have is our friend group. Friends give us support, happiness, and a shoulder to cry on. Reflect on how your friends have helped shape you as a person, and write poetry based on these thoughts. 


First, think about your friends, and, specifically why they are your friends. What are the qualities and elements about them that make you want to be their friend? 

Second, think about all of the good memories you have had with each of them. How have they made your life better. 

Third, ask yourself this hard question: what would my life be like without this person? 

Fourth, write a poem about each of your friends. Think about all of these elements, and really try and focus on why your friend community is so important to you. 

Comment on the works of your peers. 

Extension, 
Read your poems to your friends. 

[Photo Credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Kevin Huang]

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Art

Write an opinion piece about an iconic piece of art in your community (or your state). Add photos of the art from different perspectives at different times of day. Send it to the local newspaper as an illustrated opinion piece.


Public art can be one of the joys of community. It can also irritate, confuse or offend people. If there is an iconic piece of art in your town, reflect on it. Do you like it? Does it help define your community in a positive or negative way? Has it been there so long that it is invisible?

  • Find out more about the piece of art (the artist, the name, when it was installed, what it means, etc.)
  • Visit the piece of art at various times of day and take photos from different perspectives.
  • Write a review of the piece. Include the pertinent details (see above) and give your opinion about it.
  • Share your writing and photos with a friend or family member who knows the art and ask for their thoughts. (You might be surprised at their reaction.)
  • If you are swayed in your opinion, you might consider revising it. If you are firm in your original opinion, give your writing another careful look for typos and grammatical errors.
  • Send the package -- the writing and the best two photos -- to your local newspaper as an opinion piece.

[Photo credit: YWP Photo Library, photo by Madi Cohen, 2016]

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