Activity 4: Photograph crises – the power of a single image


1. The teacher is to divide the students into groups of 4-5.

2. Each group receives an image related to the topic of migration to look at.

3. As a first step, each student has to individually reflect on what he/she see/think and write down his/her thoughts and understanding on the image making notes on:

  • Before placing meaning, what you see do you see presented in the image (e.g. a man and his child)?
  • After further analysis, how does this picture come across to you?

4. As a second step, working in group and starting from their personal answers, they need to prepare a flip chart to summarize their thoughts as a group and present them to the class.

The flip chart has to try and answer the following questions.

  • What do you see and how is the image related to the topic of migration?
  • What advantage/positive impact or reaction could the image have when used as a newspaper cover picture?
  • What disadvantage/negative impact could the image have when used as a newspaper cover picture?
  • Do you believe an image tells the whole story, especially without a headline or requires more research/sources? please explain your answer and relate it to your picture if possible.

5. As a final step, a class discussion starts, following these guiding questions:

  • Discuss why an image has power.
  • What risk an image carries (stereotypes, fake news, bias, what is represented, dangers for individuals an image is used for a campaign).


Handout 3: A printed or digital image for each group.

Total duration: