Annotating Media Images

Adapted by Mary Ellen Dakin from Seeing and Believing: How to Teach Media Literacy by Ellen Kreuger and Mary T. Christel

Just as active, critical readers analyze and annotate the digital or paper text with their observations, questions, and comments, students can learn to read closely and to annotate the text of images. In this example, guided by the Media Images bookmark on the left and a diagram of the rhetorical triangle on the right, students in an American literature class  reading The Grapes of Wrath analyze an iconic image from the American Depression.

Directions to Students: Annotate the elements of visual compositions employed by the photographer -- framing, placement, subject arrangement, lighting, and color. Analyze the ways in which these elements contribute to the message and the rhetorical power of the photograph.