A High School Photography Lesson Using Microsoft Publisher for a Newsletter

Photography Internet Research Project

As an educator, I try to incorporate technology into all areas of art that I teach. While many people (including myself) consider photography an art form, most high school students need to be taught the artistic aspects of this vocation. In this high school photography lesson, students are using technology to research a photographer and then using Microsoft Publisher for designing a newsletter about their selected artist. In this manner, students are researching, utilizing technology to find information, and then combining their information with art and design, and utilizing technology to create a newsletter in Publisher. This allows students to view the artistic nature of photography and to gain inspiration for their own work.

The Lesson (what to share with students)

As a photographer and artist, it is important to look at other work in order to learn, gain inspiration, and develop an appreciation for photography as an art. Using the Internet, research a photographer from history (any time period) and answer the questions at the bottom. Choose a person whose work you enjoy or can relate to. If you don’t know where to begin, use a search engine (google, yahoo, excite) and search for “famous photographers”. Here are some photographers you may want to check out but are not limited to:

  • Milton Rogovin
  • Dorothea Lange
  • Cindy Sherman (feminist artist)
  • Ruth Orkin
  • Timothy O’ Sullivan
  • Edward Weston
  • Alfred Stieglitz (once married to painter O’Keefe)
  • Laszlo Maholy-Nagy
  • Sandy Skoglund
  • Man Ray
  • Ansel Adams
  • Matthew Brady (civil war photographer)
  • Bill Brandt
  • Robert Capa
  • Diane Arbus
  • Eugene Atget
  • David Bailey
  • Kim Anderson
  • Arthur Fellig
  • Weegee

Still can’t find one? Check out this website for inspiration: World’s Famous Photos

Part One:

Find information to answer these questions:

  1. Who is the photographer you researched?
  2. What date or period of time and were they famous or well known?
  3. What was going on in the rest of the world at this time?
  4. What country are they from?
  5. Was this artist educated or trained in photo or did they start as a hobby or job?
  6. What was the artist primarily known for, photographing, or what was their main subject?
  7. Did this artist use any special techniques or methods?
  8. What do you like about their work?
  9. What is one interesting fact you learned about their life?
  10. What can you learn from this artist?
  11. What Internet sites did you get your information from?

You’ll want to save several examples of the photographer’s work and add one picture of your photographer to your network space or disk to use for part two of this project. Pay close attention to question #11 and keep track of the websites you get your information & photos from. CITE YOUR SOURCES! (https://www.google.com) is not enough. You need to write specific sites!

Part Two:

Using the information you learned in questions 1-11, you will use Microsoft Publisher to create a newsletter about the photographer you researched. Include examples of the artist’s work and websites that other people may use to find more information about this artist.


  • One newsletter “story” should be a biography about your chosen photographer. This should not be copied from a source but a culmination of the information you researched in questions (1-7).
  • A second “story” should reflect why you chose this artist using questions researched in (8-11).
  • Your newsletter should include a minimum of 2 examples of this artist’s work and one picture of the artist.
  • Your newsletter must include websites where you got your research and/or where someone else could find information about your photographer.

You can use a pre-made newsletter template in Publisher or design your own. The templates in Publisher are also customizable so that you can change the font style, size of fonts, and pictures in them. Please ask for help!

What you will hand in:

  • the answers to questions 1-11 typed
  • 2 copies of a newsletter created in Microsoft Publisher about your researched photographer

Other Info & Grading Rubric

If students have no prior experience using Microsoft Publisher, it may be necessary to spend some class time-sharing tips and tricks or to demonstrate how to use aspects of the program including layouts, altering text (size, color and font) and how to insert images.

It is also important to go over the different type of websites that exist and how to determine which are credible sources of information in research. Here is a good source to share with students about evaluating a website from the Berkeley library: Evaluating a Website.

It’s good to show students the evaluation criteria and grading rubric for which they will be graded so they know what to expect. Having students hand in two copies of the newsletter is so you can archive one copy for student examples. (or in case another student in the future hands in a project that looks very familiar)

Grading Criteria:

Students are graded excellent, good or insufficient using this grading rubric:

1. Questions

  • Excellent: All information answers question completely, information is relevant, all questions answered. 20 pts
  • Good: Information answers question for the most part, information is relevant, most questions answered. 15 pts
  • Insufficient: Only some questions answered completely, information is irrelevant, few to no questions answered. 5 pts

2. Photo Examples

  • Excellent: Three or more high quality examples. 15 pts
  • Good: One or two quality examples. 10 pts
  • Insufficient: Poor quality examples. 5 pts

3. Bibliography

  • Excellent: Accurate specific website sources listed. 10 pts
  • Good: Accurate & inaccurate specific website sources listed. 5 pts
  • Insufficient: Did not cite specific sites where information was found. 0 pts

4. Newsletter Design

  • Excellent:Text and images neatly organized. Easy to read. Visually stimulating. 25 pts
  • Good:Text and images slightly disorganized. Information difficult to read. Visually confusing. 20 pts
  • Insufficient: Text and images very disorganized. Information impossible to read. Visually disorderly. 10 pts


  • Excellent: Contains interesting, relevant, understandable, information. 20 pts
  • Good: Contains information related to the photographer. 15 pts
  • Insufficient: Contains little to some information with little to no relevance. 5 pts

Includes Website

  • Excellent: Contains 1 or more artist specific websites a viewer could use to research the artist. 10 pts
  • Good: Contains 1 website a viewer could use to research, however, not artist specific. 5 pts
  • Insufficient: Contains no website reference a viewer could use to research the artist. 0 pts

Total Amount of Points Received: ______________________ /100= ______________%