Curriculum Ideas-A child's view

This was a very fun activity. When I did this, we used disposable cameras. My teachers now use a cheap digital camera. You can get some really low cost cameras at Walmart most of the time. I've even seen some for under $15. I don't mind letting the children using these cameras. Anyway, let each child use a camera to take 3-4 pictures each. They get to choose anything they want. They can take a picture of their friends, something in the classroom, outside, their parents. Anything they like. Then get the pictures printed.
Once the pictures are printed, the real fun begins. Give each child their choice: They can use one paper per picture, or all pictures on one page, or anything inbetween. Once they have decided where their pictures will sit, have them glue them on. I use glue sticks because it's a little less destructive to the pictures in the end. One teacher even had the children use stickers on the corners to hold them on the page; that was a nice touch. Once they have the pictures in place, they get to tell a story about their picture. At this, I also give the children a choice. They can dictate to me and have me type it up; they can have me write it directly on the paper; they can have me write it on a separate paper which they will then cut out and glue on their page; or they can write with me helping them spell the hard words. This last choice is more for the advanced student.
Once everyone has made their pages we read them aloud to the class. I usually will pick 2 to read at each circle time throughout the day and week. By the end of the week, I have read everyone's books. I then put each of the pages in a clear plastic sheet protector and make a binder with everyone's stories in it. This is a great activity for language and literacy. The stories the children come up with are fabulous. You can also really see where some of them are in their story telling. You'll get some who just tell you what the picture is of; then you'll have others tell you a made up story to intepret their pictures. It's great fun! It's also fun to do a few times during the year to see how their ideas develop.

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