The Rule of Thirds
Oak Park High School
Kansas City, Mo.
Title: Rule of Thirds
Overview and Rationale - Good photography is often laid out on the rule of thirds. Many great photographers place the subject not in the center but rather in one of the outer regions of a nine-square grid.
Goals for Understanding
- Students will understand the concept guiding the rule of thirds.
- Students will practice applying the rule of thirds to photographs.
- Students will produce photographs using the rule of thirds.
- Acetate nine-square grids - varying sizes.
- Newspaper and magazines for example photographs.
- Cameras and proper accessories
Overviews and Timeline
Activity 1 (90 minute class)
- Large group discussion on what makes a dynamic photograph.
- Students Select pictures from newspapers and magazines that they find visually appealing.
- Students use nine-square grids on acetate to lay over the pictures the Selected from the newspapers and magazines. Check to see if the picture meets the rule of thirds.
- Large group discussion of the rule of thirds.
- Conduct Web research on rule of thirds using referenced Web sites, or others.
- Students can pair up, or join small groups, to discuss their images, why they chose a particular image and how it does/does not meet the rule of thirds.
- Each pair or group should Select the top three photos that meet the rule of thirds and explain their reasoning to the class.
Activity 2 (2 or 3 - 90 minute classes)
- Large group discussion to review rule of thirds.
- Students will be assigned to take a roll of film, or 25 digital pictures. Each student must print at least three images they believe meet the rule of thirds.
- Students will present their images and explain their reasoning to the class.
- Rubric - grade the student-produced photograph in relation to meeting the rule of thirds.