School programme

See what I can see

7 April – 21 July

90 min. Years 1-13

Free for Porirua schools or $2 per child per programme.

Fun with photographs.

About the programme

Our programme for schools visiting the See what I can see exhibition is 90 minutes of fun with photographs. We will explore what a photograph can tell us and the importance of framing a view. 

Students will  ‘cut and paste’ a selection of printed photographs. Let us know if your students will have devices.


The exhibition is based around Gregory O’Brien’s book See what I can see: New Zealand photography for the young and curious. A huge range of photographs will be on show from a dropped ice-cream cone to a scientific experiment. 

Photographs are very good at asking questions. Your students can decide whether some photographers are trying to tell us something about the world or themselves, or whether they just photographed something they like the look of?

Curriculum links

The Arts, Visual Arts: Students will share and describe the ideas, feelings, and stories communicated by their own and others’ images CI. Students will investigate the purpose of images from past and present cultures and identify the contexts in which they were made, viewed and valued UC.

Social Studies: Students will understand how people remember and record the past in different ways.

Technology: Students will understand that technology both reflects and changes society and the environment and increases people’s capability.

Pre and post visit ideas

Compare very early photographs with modern digital photographs – what do you notice?


Compile a word-bank of photography and art terms with pictures to display their meaning; e.g. focus, exposure, close-up, fisheye, telephoto, zoom, foreground, airbrush, selfie, low resolution, wide-angle, viewfinder, composition etc.

Create a classroom display featuring those photographs each student feels captures one of his/her best moments in life!

Have your students look through magazines, newspapers (etc) for photographs they think were taken on the spur of the moment and those which were carefully posed – is it easy to choose?
Select photographs which are great story-starters requiring your students to write with fantasy and mystery and imagination.

Discover and view those iconic photographs (usually taken by photojournalists) labelled as ‘game-changers’ which have influenced/changed world views about certain issues and events.
Define what it means to be a photo-artist.


Research into the work (with examples) of famous New Zealand photographers.

Contact us

Email patakaeducation@poriruacity.govt.nz or phone (04) 237 3551 if you'd like us to tailor a programme to meet your learning goals.

Related exhibitions & teacher resources