Classroom Exercise

Expression Exercise: Instagram Journaling

Expression Exercise: Instagram Journaling
Written by Lindsay Price

Today’s students are visual learners. They look at screens all day long, it makes sense that they are going to be grabbed by a picture instead of something they hear or read. So why not bring the visual experience into the drama classroom?

Exercise: Journal with Instagram.
  • Students take three pictures of themselves every day for a week. The pictures must be taken at different times in the day and in different locations.

  • When they come to class, their job is to look at their pictures (if your class is at the beginning of the day, they look at yesterday’s pictures) and reflect on what they see.

    • What were they thinking when they took the picture?

    • Are they surprised by how they look?

    • Does their outside appearance match their inside feelings? Why or why not?

Take it further: Do this only if your students feel comfortable sharing their photos. Divide your students into groups. Each student picks one of their photos. Each student gives their phone to the person on their left. Each student now has a new picture in front of them. They write a inner monologue (what is the person thinking?) for that picture.

At the end of the week student must submit their pictures in a new format. Here are some examples:

  • Print out the pictures and create a physical collage.

  • Download the pictures to a photo editing site like and create a jpg image to send you.

  • Turn the stills into a video with music, or voice over.

  • Write a scene in which different pictures represent different characters. What happens when six versions of the student get together?

What if I have students who don’t have smart phones? What if my school doesn’t allow phones during school hours?

These questions are going to come up. The use of technology in the classroom is not universal. You can have students look for pictures in magazines that reflect how they’re feeling. You can have students search online in the library on sites like for pictures. You can have them take their self portraits outside of class time and reflect as homework.

Click here for a free Instagram Journaling Exercise

Click here for the rubric that accompanies the Reflection exercise.

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About the author

Lindsay Price