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Lesson Plan

Picture This: Using Instagram to Report

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)


Picture This: Using Instagram to Report

Grades 4 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Four 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Kathy Wickline

Kathy Wickline

Tolono, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English



Featured Resources

From Theory to Practice



On a field trip, students encounter new places and concepts that the teacher wants the students to remember once the class returns to the school building. Using Instagram to document these experiences will make students easily recall the events of their field trip. These photos will inspire students as they create a newspaper about their trip using the interactive Printing Press.

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Instagram: This free app for the tablets and phones will be used to photograph as well as video-record the students’ experiences on the field trip.

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In 2009, the International Reading Association (IRA) took the position that for students “to become fully literate in today’s world, students must become proficient in the new literacies of 21st-century technologies.” Furthermore IRA believes that literacy teachers’ duties now include educating students about how to effectively use these new technologies to prepare students for the technology-rich world outside the classroom. These new technologies include numerous applications for tablets and smartphones, such as Instagram. Hutchison, Beschorner and Schmidt-Crawford indicate the possibility of using such devices has made learning possible anytime, anywhere. Additionally, they point out that students in their study were extremely motivated when using iPads. Using such mobile devices can lend itself to teaching visual literacy as well. As Baker points out, visual literacy at one time had been previously taught exclusively in art classes; however because of the prevalence of photography in today’s world, all students need to be visually literate. They need to be aware of a photo’s composition to recognize the message a photo is communicating. This engaging lesson encourages students to learn a new mobile application as well as practice writing and visual literacy skills.

Baker, Frank. “Visual Literacy.” Media Literacy in the K-12 Classroom.  Eugene, OR: International Society for Technology in Education, 2012. 41-71.


International Reading Association. New Literacies and 21st Century Technologies. Newark: International Reading Association, 2009. International Reading Association, May 2009. Web. 5 July 2013.


Hutchinson, Amy, Beth Beschorner, and Denise Schmidt-Crawford. "Exploring the Use of the iPad for Literacy Learning." The Reading Teacher 66.1 (2012): 15-23. Wiley Online Library. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Web. 5 July 2013.

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