Teach Photography to Kids: Ideas for a Kids Photography Club
Have you ever wanted to teach a kids photography class
? Perhaps the thought of it was intimidating to you. Why not ease into by having a kids photography club. There will be less pressure and it is something for the kids to look forward to after school. Maybe you want to volunteer at your son or daughter's school or perhaps at the YMCA or local youth center. Below are three top tips for a successful kids photography club.
This is a great tip list for photography club ideas for elementary school students too. If you need ideas for starting an elementary school club, a photography club is a very popular one to start with.
1) Keep the kids photography lesson plans short and simple.
After a long day of sitting at a desk in the classroom, the kids will be tired and their short attention spans will be even shorter. Keep your entire class/club meeting to 30-45 minutes.
For a productive photography class/club that also is fun and engaging try dividing each class into three parts. Each part will last around 10-15 minutes each. Using this template for each class will let the kids know what to expect and make planning easier for you.
Part one: Review the topic from the last class.
Give a brief overview of what you learned last week. A reminder will help them retain the information they are learning by hearing it more than once. Have a review time by making it into a game.
For example, you could split the club into two teams. You could keep the teams throughout the entire club. When you ask a question the first person to jump up and give the answer gets a point for their team. Keep score. Kids are competitive. And let them know what the prize is. It could be anything from candy to stickers, etc... Remember to keep prizes age appropriate.
Note: The first day of the kids photography club there won’t be anything to review, so use an icebreaker such as going around the room asking the kids to share what they love to photograph most and why.
Getting the students to talk about themselves will help you understand what they are interested in and find ways to tailor the class to keep them learning and engaged. Start by sharing about yourself and why you got into photography, what you love to shoot and why. You may want to close the end of the first club meeting by showing them some of your work. Perhaps you create a slideshow with some upbeat music.
If you own a photography business, share a little about why you started a photography business. Share some images from some of your most favorite sessions. You can also highlight any images that may have been featured on blogs, websites or magazines.
- Part two: Introduce a new topic.
This is the fun part! Make sure you have narrowed own the topic to one thing. For example, don't try to teach exposure all in one setting. Have one lesson be all about aperture, the next about shutter speed and the next about ISO. Similar to Part One, you can also use a game to help the kids learn the topic. Make it a different type of game. For example, you could play a simple game of hangman on a chalkboard or whiteboard and have them guess words related to the topic.
Another way to have the kids process concepts is by fun worksheets such as crossword puzzles or word find. There are worksheets included in this Basic Digital Photography Curriculum for Kids.
- Part three: Have a photo shooting time or photo share time.
The last part of your kids photography club can be broken down into a shoot time, share time, or both! You can set up items for the kids to photograph or you can take them outside to photograph their surroundings, depending on the location of your club. Have a themed photo assignment each week. Let them share the photo(s) they've taken the week prior. The kids work will progressively get better throughout the club experience. You will be excited to see them grow as young photographers.
2) Limit the Photography Class or Photography Club Size.
A larger photography class or kids photography club may be overwhelming to you, especially if you don’t have any prior experience in teaching kids photography. Limit the class size to no more than 10-12 kids to begin with. This way you can get to know them better and have an easier time remembering their names. Also, if you have a show and share time at the end of each session this will ensure everyone gets a chance to share throughout the course of the club. Depending on the size of the school and the amount of students showing interest in signing up, you may have to create a waiting list and have two after school club sessions, one for each semester. Each session could run for approximately 6 to 8 weeks. If you do have a waiting list this will make the after school club feel more exclusive.
3) Include Some Fun Photography Projects for Kids
After being in school all day kids will like to have something that they don’t view as “work”. Don’t worry so much about having tests or grading quizzes. Keep it light hearted so that the kids will enjoy it. Incorporate games such as hangman or tic-tac-toe when reviewing the prior week’s lesson. Encourage the students to bring in some of their favorite images that they’ve taken and share with the class.
4) Ask Kids What They Love to Photograph
Get input from children in the club about things THEY are interested in capturing through photographs, then work together as a group help youngsters capture those moments!
Additional Resources for Teaching Photography to Kids: