Usually, I am that tourist lugging around a camera snapping away. For years, I have collected all these pictures, occasionally putting them in PowerPoints or showing a random picture in class.
Then last year, I got the bright idea to create a classroom display showcasing my best pictures related to the book or unit studying. I was envisioning something like a hard copy of a Pinterest board.
I ordered 5x7 copies of a bunch of pictures and ordered them from Snapfish. I loved how the pictures helped brighten up my classroom and how much the students loved looking at them. It was great to have the pictures on display so I could refer to an image if needed. When I taught A Streetcar Named Desire, it was great to have pictures of real streetcars on displays for students to view.
During our Great Gatsby unit, I changed the display to archival photos representing the Valley of Ashes, so students could make sense of this place. The pictures really helped Fitzgerald's description of the ash heaps come alive. The pictures were all available for free on Baz Lurhman's Facebook page as part of his research for the 2013 Gatsby film.
Today, I put up pictures I took several years ago of Salem, Massachusetts in anticipation of teaching The Crucible with my juniors.
I love revisiting my trips through the pictures on display in my classroom.
What about you? Do you travel to places mentioned in the things you teach? How do you use your travel photos?