Snap!

Despite the recent cold weather the days are starting to getting longer, so there’s no better time to get the children doing projects using a camera.

First you could think about the geometric cabinet or the geometric solids and all the shapes that you have there. Then:

• Ask the children to bring in items from home that can be photographed in class such as tins, balls, square boxes, rectangular boxes, a bar of toblerone, eggs etc. This will get them looking and thinking rather than just being presented with items that you’ve provided. Though in the case of the eggs, it might be better to get them yourself!

• Then let the children take turns using the class camera to photograph the items close up. When you’ve done this, print out two of each photo – to the size you require – stick them on stiff card and cut round them. You can then use these to play shape-matching games and also identify them with the geometric shapes that you normally work with in class.

You could hold a competition to see who can bring in the most unusual shaped item to photograph. Can anyone find a natural parallelogram or a rhombus? You could even do this if you don’t have access to a class camera as you can get the children to cut out pictures from magazines or print them off the internet – honeycomb, coins, modern architectural buildings like the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. It will provide a great discussion topic as well as teaching different shapes.

And don’t forget that later in the year you can do the same exercise with the leaf cabinet by bringing in a wide variety of leaves to the classroom and taking pictures. Even with a cheap point-and-shoot camera like mine, if you use the ‘macro’ function and get up close, you can get some terrific pictures of leaves – their shape and the way they are constructed – not to mention grasses and flowers.

Another project could be to get the children to make their own personal photo-journal. A Day in the Life of… Give each child a day on which they are responsible for looking after the camera and taking pictures of friends and favourite objects plus getting friends to take pictures of them. They can glue the photos into a scrapbook – then let them talk you through it. It provides not only the opportunity for them to experiment with the camera but also gets them using their descriptive powers – and probably a large chunk of imagination!

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