A photograph is worth a thousand words. Which means the viewer could potentially see a thousand different messages. This is problematic because the viewer might get the wrong message.
It is important to write strong photo captions. Effective captions help the viewer see the intended message.
Lesson Plan: Caption Writing
Students will learn about what makes a great caption and will learn about the 5W’s and H of journalism writing. Suggested time allowance is 40 minutes.
- Examine a picture for details.
- Write questions they need answered about the picture.
- Create captions appropriate for a picture.
- Know what information they need in order to create a caption.
- Write more captions appropriate for other pictures.
- Hold up various front pages of local newspapers and ask students what they look at first. Most will say the pictures or artwork on the page.
- Next, show them a picture on the overhead without a caption. Have them guess what the caption would tell them. What else would they like to know from looking at the picture?
- Students will find five photographs and identify and label the parts (5Ws and H) of the caption.
- Students will be handed three photographs without a caption. Now they are to create captions for the images. They will identify people and explain the photo without telling the obvious. They will also include other background info.
Create a caption for a photograph, using the “5Ws and H” to identify people and explain the photo without telling the obvious. Students will be graded based on creativity, structure and content.
- Pens or pencils
- Newspapers and magazines with examples of pictures and captions