Back in January I took my young learners on a winter photo walk to appreciate the beauty of frosty scenes and notice the patterns in the natural world. You can read about this activity here. Wednesday 20th March was marked as the first day of Spring, and we were learning about the Hindu festival of Holi, so we took our cameras out on photo walk to capture the colours and signs of spring time.
Before the walk we looked at the photographs from our winter walk. This was an effective way to link learning and notice the changes that have happened in the seasons but also to review the teaching point of good photography. Using photography in the early years is important because young children have access to cameras in almost all devices they touch. We must teach children to use cameras effectively and for a particular purpose so that they don’t fill devices with endless, repetitive images and learn that photographs tell us visual stories.
I also reminded the class how to hold iPad with a steady grip (fingers on the back, thumbs on the front, tuck your elbows in). I demonstrated how to take good close up photos too, that the camera needs to focus before pressing the shutter button.
The trick of a good close up photo is to get closer, and closer, then even closer!
After this circle time reflecting on changes in the natural world we set off on our spring time photo walk around the school gardens. The children visited 3 of our garden areas.
After the walk we viewed all of the photographs and I printed the pictures for children to use in child initiated writing about spring time.
Photography personalises children’s work. Without photography, children usually have tick lists and clipboards, list writing on paper or adults making observational notes on what the children say. Using photography means children can share what they see with you and after the activity they can talk about what they noticed. Photography gives the children ownership of their learning and greater opportunities for talk after the activity.
Linking photography to writing reinforces that images communicate meaning and photos tell stories. Children need to know, from an early age, that the photos they take matter. They need to know the good uses of photography and how to use this technology appropriately in order to fully understand the purpose of digital images on social media, news sites and online later in life.
To learn more about children’s photography and read more ideas for planning photography over the year, download my free book ‘The Rich Potential of Young Chidren’s Photography’ for free on Apple Books.