Visual Lyrics

Based on the exhibition Contact High: Hip-Hop’s Iconic Photographs and Visual Culture, presented at Photoville 2017 by Contact High.
Lesson Overview

Students will use historic and archival images to engage in topics of identity, relationships and friendships. They will analyze the role of photography in creating a historical perspective of individuals and events and discuss how technology has changed this dynamic. They will translate visual information in text and vice versa.

Learning Objectives
  • Create personal narratives from visual images
  • Understand the importance of archives and historical narratives
  • Collaborate in a group discussion

This lesson plan was created during United Photo Industries’  2017 Education Day. Many thanks to the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment for supporting UPI Education!


Janine Lai, Lola Flash, Carla Rice with curator Vikki Tobak

Featuring photography by

Barron Clairborne, Ray Lego, Stephen Shames and more

Grade Level

9th – 12th grade


Social Studies

Time Required

90 minutes

Produced and Facilitated by


Presented in partnership with