Understanding Self Through Portraiture

Based on the project Life After Life in Prison: The Bedroom Project, exhibited at Photoville from September 13 – 23, 2018 in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Lesson Overview

Students will reflect on a difficult time in their lives when they had to overcome adversity, using photography and text to represent their experience.

Photograph by Sara Bennett

Learning Objectives
  • Develop a coherent personal narrative with details and sequencing
  • Conceptualize and take an environmental self-portrait
  • Create a final presentation that integrates photos and text into a personal narrative

This lesson plan was created during United Photo Industries’ Fall 2018 Teacher Professional Development Day. Many thanks to PhotoWings for supporting UPI Education!


Ben Russell, Abbu Hinckson-Martin, Ilona Lieberman, Teresa Willis, Carla Rice and Sara Bennett

Featuring photography by

Sara Bennett

Grade Level

7th – 12th grade


Art, Photography, Social Studies, ELA, Journalism/Photojournalism, Social and Criminal Justice, Civil Rights

Time Required

7 class sessions

Produced and Facilitated by


Presented in partnership with