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Digital Arts Workshops with Craig Norton


Craig provides students with a creative outlet that allows them to connect to school subjects in a positive, high tech, team oriented project. Because of the many potential story-lines, there are countless outcomes for schools to choose from. During these multi-session residencies, students always learn by experience with hands-on exercises. Craig comes into your school after-school program or community setting with state of the art HD cameras, microphones and lights so the school does not need to provide any equipment.


Digital Storytelling (Grades 4 -12)

This residency provides students with a creative outlet that allows them to connect and explore school subjects in a positive, high tech, team oriented project. Because of the many potential story-lines, there are countless outcomes for schools to choose from. During these multi-session residencies, students always learn by experience with hands-on exercises. Craig brings state of the art HD cameras, microphones and lights so the school does not need to provide any equipment. This is also appropriate for “at risk” and  special education classes.  Professional development is also available to give teachers the skills to include video projects in classroom projects.

Primary Objectives:

Together with the school, we’ll set goals, expected outcomes and create specific curriculum links. A specific project will then be tailored for the students and will teach fundamentals of film making including historical context, script writing, film theory, camera features, sound and lighting.

Once students have learned the basics, we explore applications with the school’s expected outcome in mind. All projects are designed to convey a positive message and students are encouraged to  follow through to see that their projects have a positive affect on their audiences. The process includes script writing and storyboarding for each film idea.

Students will practice film making techniques on various projects that will put students’ skills to task and allows them to complete project goals related to school curriculum.

Students and Teaching Artist will review and critique the students’ work on a regular basis to guide them towards success and to learn from previous problems. This is also an excellent opportunity to practice positive communication skills and develop mentor relationships within the classroom.  Students will create and explore interactive links to community and the natural environment.

For students with special needs, we provide a participatory experience that utilizes video as an expressive art form, highlighting their creative skills.

Potential Applications:

Work in partnership with existing curriculum to utilize video skills to enhance projects in language and visual arts, social studies, history, sciences and math.

Use film making to build cultural bridges for students and their school community through themed assignments that involve observing and reporting on school life.

Create a science project that involves observing and documenting the natural environment of a local ecosystem. Utilize student’s skills to create a wide variety of “positive subject” documentaries: anti-bullying, inter-generation (students interview seniors), showcasing talented students, artists, musicians, athletes, etc.

Go on a field trip to give the students a chance to utilize their camera skills. The student films may be entered into teen film festivals and we will coordinate a premiere screening for the school community.

“Through the Lens” Photography Workshops and Residencies

“Through The Lens” workshops and residencies provide students with a creative outlet that inspires them to connect with the subjects they are studying from a new perspective. Photography gives students a chance to be creative with high tech digital tools as well as heightening awareness of their community and environment. Because of the universal applications for photography there are many potential curriculum connections for schools to choose from.

Students learn best by experiencing hands-on exercises and reflections on their work as a group to provide and receive constructive criticism. The purpose of this process is to refine, revise and improve the technical and esthetic aspects of the student’s work as well as practice positive communication skills in the classroom setting.

“Through The Lens” residencies are appropriate for 3rd through 8th grade students, as well as “at risk” and special education classes 4th grade and above. This program is also appropriate for hospitals, museums, libraries, camps, community education services and social service organizations for children at risk and with special needs.

Professional Development is also available to involve teachers in the process and leave them with skills to engage their students in learning by using digital media in the classroom.

Create Your Own I Spy  1 Session Workshop(Grades 2-6)

Students get a behind the scenes peek at the studios where Walter Wick’s beloved I Spy books are created then have a chance to make their own collage scene and photograph it. They work together in small groups using a huge collection of items found in nature and at the bottom of toy chests. Students learn about cameras and how to take interesting pictures. This is a great introduction to photography for schools and public libraries.

Photo Rhythms-Geometry & Engineering Grades 3-8

A one session workshop for a classroom that focuses on the math of geometry and the science of engineering.  Students will view their environment from a new perspective using digital cameras (provided) as they search for  lines, shapes, and patterns during a exploration of their school environment. As students work in pairs they will observe and document geometry concepts in architecture, fashion, jewelry, musical instruments, sporting goods and school materials and they will take photos that will be shared with their class.

Goldsworthy Sculptures and Photography 1 Session Workshop(Grades 2-8)

Inspired by Scottish sculptor Andrew Goldsworthy, Craig Norton presents a hands-on experience for students to create an ephemeral sculpture made entirely of items found in nature and then photograph it. After viewing a short video about Goldsworthy and his unique creations, students learn about how to make a sculpture using found objects. They work together in small groups to form their own sculptures and use digital cameras to capture the scenes for posterity.

Art of Water 5-8 Day Residency for 4th Grade 

Core Science Curriculum Framework: 4.3a, 5.4a

Students get hands-on learning and creative experiences with cameras while exploring various scientific aspects of water to better understand the water cycle and conservation. All projects are based on researching, observing, photographing and creating artistic projects that involve the water cycle. When possible, we visit nearby natural habitats such as a marsh, lake or river to capture the environments from both scientific and artistic perspectives. The residency begins with professional development for the teachers and culminates with an exhibit of students’ projects.

The Art and Science of Photography-A Study of Light  5-8 day Residency  (Grades 5-8)

How do the scientific characteristics of light relate to cameras and photography?

Students get hands on learning and creative experiences with cameras and explore various scientific aspects of light to better understand the physics of light and its affects on photography. Learn how the camera reads light temperature (color), texture (hard/soft), direction (shadows) and intensity. The residency begins with professional development and culminates with an exhibit of students’ projects

Photoetry: Portrait and Poetry Workshop (Grades 5-8)

This two session workshop combines portrait photography and poetry to create a “Who Am I” poster. Craig uses prompts to get students writing about their strengths, accomplishments, role models and goals in life. Students also learn about portrait photography and what makes an interesting image. They photograph each other with their poems projected or written in the background of a portrait or if time and resources allow, we use Picasa editing to integrate their photo and poem into one image.

Walk a Mile In My Shoes-Character Building Workshop (Grades 6-8)

This arts integrated character building workshop begins with a discussion of what it’s like to be a victim, witness, ally and aggressor in a bullying situation. Students learn about empathy, share their experiences in a group discussion and journal from different perspectives. Students then role play in small groups and photograph the scenes for an Inspirational Anti-bullying Poster. They review their photographs and written observations to choose images and sentences to be included in the poster. Share time allows the students to reflect on their experience and they discuss coping skills for dealing with bullying situations.

Two Workshops: $515
Three Workshops: $665
Four Workshops: $820

Five Day Residency:

Two classes per day: $2,575
Three classes per day: $3,315
Four classes per day: $3,825

Materials cost: $7 per student

About the Artist

Craig Norton is a professional photographer whose work can be found in galleries throughout Connecticut and in many magazines and newspapers. For his dedication to teaching photography to students, teachers and families, Craig was selected “Arts for Learning Connecticut’s Teaching Artist of Year” in 2012.  He is also an author of the book “Rock The Shot!” which demystifies the art of photography for all ages. Craig has received training in Universal Design for Learning and uses this design in his lessons to reach people of all abilities.


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  • Ion Bank
    Ion Bank
  • Community Chest
    Community Chest