Summary: Photovoice uses photographs taken by students to express their perceptions and influence their environment. The goal of the project is to create an attitude, understanding, and ability to thoughtfully contribute to a school climate that is intolerant of bullying.
Target grades: 7th and above
Minimum time needed: One week to take photos; 2 – 3 class sessions to write and reflect, then share and discuss photos.
Materials: cameras for students to take photos, a printer to print photos; paper/pens to write about photos and display them.
Connection to bullying: Express individuality; reflect and share issues related to the school environment and safety culture; understand different points of view.
Instruct students to spend the week taking photos that focus on bullying. These can be, for example, a place that they feel safe/unsafe; an abstract photo of something that makes them think of bullying; or staged photo of someone’s face expressing a feeling. Instruct them not to take pictures of other people in the school, and let them know that they will be sharing the picture. Have them think about:
- What is bullying?
- What does supportive communication feel like?
- What does hurtful communication feel like?
- What can change bullying?
After they have taken their photos, ask them to select one or two photos to print. With these photos, assign them time to reflect about why they want to share this particular photo. They can answer questions such as:
- “I want to share this photo because…”
- “The story behind this photo is…”
- “This photo relates to bullying because…”
Mount the photos on a piece of paper with the reflection. Have students share their photos with the class or in small groups.
Hold a classroom discussion about bullying (refer to the Bullying Discussion Guide):
- What themes were common in the photos?
- What types of feelings, both positive and negative, were expressed in the photos?
- What kinds of strategies were identified that could change or reduce bullying?
- Display the photos somewhere in the school.