Explore point of view through aerial photography

Explore point of view through aerial photography

In this lesson, students are introduced to the idea of point of view through aerial photography. They will write a story about what the character Amelia the Pigeon would see if she flew over their school or home.

​Objectives

Students will be introduced to aerial photography and the idea of different points of view.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students read the story of Amelia the Pigeon and imagine her point of view.
  • Students view actual aerial photographs of their school and home.
  • Students write a story describing what Amelia the Pigeon would see if she flew over their school or home.

Lesson procedure

Introduction

Imagine our school. You know what it looks like when you walk in the front door, right? Now imagine that you are sitting on a cloud high above our school and looking down on it. How does it look now? What’s different? What can you see that you couldn’t see if you were just walking on the ground? As you sit on that cloud high above, take a look around. Can you see the neighborhood the school is in? Can you see your house? What else can you see from this point of view?

Show students an aerial map of the school on Bing maps. Type the school address in the Search box. When the road map of your school neighborhood appears, point to the Globe icon at the bottom of the map, and then select Aerial. Next, zoom in.

Here is a photograph of the school neighborhood taken from an airplane. This is called an aerial photograph. What can you see from this point of view? What can’t you see from this point of view? If no aerial photograph of your neighborhood is available, show students an aerial photograph of a famous location. Let’s take a closer look from this point of view. Right now we’re looking at a basic aerial map, which is made of photos taken from the air. Point to the Aerial View icon on the bottom of the map, and then select Bird’s-Eye. Here’s another aerial map. This one is called a Bird’s-Eye map. This is also made up of photos taken from the air, but instead of looking straight down, the camera looks from above at an angle. That little shift in the angle of the point of view can give you a better view of what’s on the ground. What can you see from this aerial view that you couldn’t see from the first one, looking straight down on our school? (Switch back to the aerial view to show them the difference). Both of these aerial views give us a lot of information that we don’t get by looking straight ahead at the things around us.

In this activity you will look at your world from a new point of view—an aerial view from up above in the sky—and write a story about what you see.

Teacher Tips

  • Document your field trips

    For the next field trip, ask one or two students to be the ‘official videographers or photographers’ for the class. The next day, with class participation, quickly and easily choose the best video clips and photographs to include in the video.

  • Say cheese!

    Two photographers were accidentally hired to take pictures at the same birthday party. Will each photographer’s pictures provide the same impression of the party? Why or why not? How are photos different from drawings or paintings?

Student activity

Follow the steps below to guide your students through this lesson plan.

Note teachers: Please download the student activity handouts located in the sidebar under Software and Materials Needed, for additional details about the main activities for this lesson plan.
 
  • Step 1: "Read the story of Amelia the Pigeon and imagine what she sees"
  • Step 2: "Look at online aerial photographs of your school and home"
  • Step 3: "Write a story about what Amelia sees"

​Lesson extension activities

Ask students to draw pictures of what Amelia the Pigeon would see if she flew over their school or home.

Ask students to explore perspective further by doing the following:

Take three digital photographs of an object: one from directly in front of the object, one from directly above the object (aerial), and one from above the object but at an angle (Bird’s-Eye View), and then comparing what they see. What features and dimensions of the object appear in each perspective? They can insert the photos and their descriptions into a Microsoft Office Word document.

Draw one object from each of the three perspectives and then write about what features and dimensions of the object appear from each perspective.

Ask students to read some or all of the remaining chapters of “Amelia the Pigeon”. They can use Bing maps to look at some of the places described in those chapters, such as a park or a zoo.

Ask students to research the life of Amelia Earhart and write a story about something she might have seen from her airplane cockpit.

Conclusion

Assess students on the story they write describing what Amelia would see if she flew over their home or school. Viewing the pictures on the Bing maps website should help inspire some creative writing.