Thanks to all the Teacher.net chatboard and mailring teachers who helped with these ideas. I hope you will find a few ideas you can use in your class.
Ideas for using Photos in the classroom
1. ing book
One of my FAVORITE projects is an "ing" book. I lay out LOTS of pictures and
have each child select ANY 2 pictures (they have to be in at least 1). They
glue the picture on a piece of construction paper and write an "ing" sentence
Examples: I am making cookies.
I am feeding the goats.
I am sharing my snack.
I am reading a book to the class.
I laminate the book and rotate sending it home.
BIG hit with the kids and the parents!
2. Book about Time
How about a book about time? Take photos of arrival, snack, center time,
lunch time, PE, etc. Put a clock with the time for each activity on one side
and the picture on the other. Even if the kids can't tell time and aren't
ready to learn this will help them with the concept of time.
Also, are you in an area where you see the seasons change? (I wish we saw
more changes here in FL). Taking pictures of the kids while outside and as
they are putting coats on, etc. and putting them in a book about the four
seasons is an idea.
3. Friendship book
make a book for each child in the class with their name on the front and
a photograph of them. Everyone else in the class contributes to this book
describing why they like that person and drawing a picture of them. All
contributions are read out and we bind together into a book. The child then takes the book home.
4. Story Writing
Digital photos of the children also used as a stimulus for story writing.
Particularly good after an excursion (field trip) where the kids can have a
photo of themselves and then write under that.
5. Photo Schedule
We have used photos to help children with the daily routine/schedule. We have pictures of the children at each part of the day (morning snack,
centers, hand washing, lunch, rest, drop off, pick up) and use them for a
daily schedule board. Next to each picture are the words and the time. This helps the parents know how the days usually go and to help an anxious (especially a new) child "see" what will happen next. It has helped
tremendously with separation anxiety.
6. Sequence book
Take pictures of the sequence of something - carving a pumpkin, making a project, have the kids sequence the process and can dictate the words for a book or bulletin display.
7. I spy book
I also asked children to bring in different colored objects. After sorting
by color, I took photos, scanned them and made an "I spy..." kind of book.
8. Alphabet book
I make an alphabet book with the students photos and names. Such as: A
is for Allen, B is for Betsy, G is for Gail, etc. You can laminate
these, hang them on the wall or bulletin board and send them home rather
than place in a book.
have the children form the letters and take a picture. Add stickers, clip art , or photos and make an ABC book.
A book on shapes.....same idea as alphabet....students made shapes
with their bodies.....I took pictures...then at the bottom of the page I
typed.....See our circles., See our squares....the last page had all the
shapes and read.....We love shapes!
10. Color book
Another idea is to use Mary wore her red dress....and take pictures of what
they are wearing...they also decide what they want to say......Shaun wore his blue jeans.....Shaniece wore her red sweater. Stangelo wore his striped
shirt. And then follow the pattern of the book.
11. Match the description
On a large index card, write a sentence or two describing one
of the pictures (i.e.: Two girls are sitting in the library reading books.)
Children have to match the description to the picture. You can keep the
pictures at a center and use them year after year. The kids enjoy seeing
pictures of themselves as well as pictures of students you've had in the
past. You can switch out the pictures as needed throughout the year. It's
an easy literacy center.
Use pictures is to make Concentration games
with the students pictures. This deck with 4 of each child is also used
to play Go Fish. I mount 2 of each child on one color tagboard and 2 on
another color so that you actually have 2 decks for Concentration. Later
in the year, I make another set with name only that the students then
match to the picture card.
13. Name recognition
Most of the children can't recognize their names at the
beginning of the year. Make name cards with a photo on one side and the
child's name printed on the other. Use the cards in the beginning of the
year to learn each others names, to designate where we want the children to sit in circle (sometimes), and to introduce them to their written name.
Put these out on the writing table so the child can find his/her name and
practice writing it. Also make up a class book with the child's picture
and some info as to what they like to play with, favorite book and animal.
The children take turns taking it home to introduce them to each other's
14. Home Letters
Home letters- a new project where all of my kids "write" letters home daily to tell what they did today at school (I have photos (copies of them) of all
kids/centers/activities and they choose various pics to tell mom and dad what they did at school, glue them on their dear mom and dad sheet, and take them home)
15.Labeling toys and shelves
take pictures of the toys and put one on the basket and one on the shelf. Kids can match the basket to the shelf when cleaning up.
16. Flip book
I have just recently made a flip-photo book where the cover is about 12- 13"long and a little wider than a sentence strip. I took individual photos of each of my students and pasted them on one side of a page ( same size as the cover) and pasted their name(computer printed I think size 98) on the other side of the card. I then cut between the picture and name and bound (with a spiral binding machine)the pages inside the cover and a full size back page(all was on tagboard).I wrote FRIENDS on the cover and laminated it also. The pictures and names were not inserted in the same order. This way the children match the friends name to their picture. Lots of language going on here. It is one of the two favorite books. I have had it 1 week and have already put it back together again. ( no problem- I'm glad they are using it) I hear one child look over and say"My name has a c in it too". The children quickly turned to his name to make sure he was right.
17. Photos from home
Another idea we have used in K is to send home a piece of tagboard 8 1/2x11 with the child's name printed or typed on the computer and pasted at the top. We use first and last names. A note is sent with the page asking the parent to paste pictures of the child, as a baby, with family members, on trips, etc. on the page. Some even use front and back. I remind them to leave me a border to bind the book. When they return, we bind the book with a cover-
We have blown up pictures and laminated them and made puzzles
out of them.
19.Magnifying glasses and pictures
We have double prints made so occasionally we will put out one set as a
center with magnifying glasses for them to look at.
Another way is to put tape in three sections across the pictures (the
pictures are laminated first and we use the blue tape that looks like
electrical tape but is not very sticky). The children can then peel one
piece off to try to guess who it is.
Action shots are taken, we cut them out, laminate and
tape to blocks so the kids can put themselves and their friends into their
Graphing, for example, A question could be do you like apples on a chart labeled yes or no. Students affix their photos (usually school photos) in the appropriate
23. Writing center display
In my writing center, I have a Rolodex with the children's photos and their
names in bold print so that the children can look up their friend's name to
write to them.
24. Memory book
Another thing that I have done is to use photos that I have taken over
the year to make our own class memory book. I arrange the photos in a
chronological order, add a caption, and make copies on the copier for
In front of a bare wall, I took pictures of each child with
their hands over their head like they were holding up the
ceiling and I had them make a "surprised look" on their face.
Then I made a book by using them with an elephant cut out
(back-line)which they colored. They glued the elephant over
their picture touching their hands with the caption (e.g.)
"Willoughby, Walloughby, Wisten, the elephant sat on Kristen.
It made such a cute book that they found hilarious.
26. Kite Bulletin board
-I had children pose in a side view running position with one
hand up in the air in front and one down behind them (if you can
picture that :-). I cut the resulting pictures out and used
them for a bulletin board in the spring. The front hand (with a
small slit cut for the string) held a kite (which each child
had made)and I made it so they were running up a hill.
27. Opposite Book
Have the children come up with
opposites that we could photograph. Then we took the photos
and the results were wonderful. The book reads like this...
Alex is INSIDE, Dustin is OUTSIDE Bob is ON the slide,
Cathy is OFF the slide. The kids really enjoyed this and
the book is a favorite. I was amazed at how well they came
up with the ideas.
28. Boo Boo Book
We also did a Boo Boo Book for the letter B. I took
pictures of them wearing band-aids on various parts of their
bodies. I found this idea somewhere on the teachers net so
it isn't original, but it made a wonderful class book. It
goes like this...Band Aid on my finger...Band Aid on my
nose...Band Aid on my elbow...Band Aid on my toes...Band Aid
on my shoulder...Band Aid on my knee...Band Aid on my
tummy...Band Aids all over me! (when we were done with our
band aids, we put them on the student that we photographed
for the final page.) Do I have a boo boo? No, not me. I
have just learned about the letter B!
29. Left and Right Book
We made another one, modeled from the book Left or Right.
I took photos of the kids doing various things and then had
doubles made of the pictures. I cut students out of the
copy and then wrote is Brittany on the left or right and
then on the whole picture I wrote Brittany is on the -----
and covered up the word (right or left) with a flap that
they can lift and read. I hope you are able to understand
30. Phone book
Make a phone directory for the home center. Put the
child's picture at the top part of the page with first and
last name under it and then the child's phone number. I also
put emergency help pictures on the front with 911. This is a
big hit with the kids. You can watch them dialing friends and
just chatting away and even copying down phone numbers. I
forgot to say these are laminated and bound because it
receives so much use.
31. Brown Bear Book
mounted each picture on a half sheet of construction paper
. The captions read: Marissa, Marissa, who do you
see? I see Collin looking at me. (Next page) Collin, Collin,
who do you see? I see Jacob looking at me. etc.....
32. Monthly photos
I take each student's picture on the first day of each
month--they stand in the exact same spot. In May, I do a
bulletin board that says "See how we've grown" and I make giant
flowers--in the center is their school picture, and on each
petal is one of the monthly pictures. I laminate them and pass
them out to the kids to take home at the end of the year, after
they've been used on the bulletin board. It really shows how
much each child has physically grown in the course of the year,
and parents always seem to appreciate them. I always get double
prints, and we use the doubles for graphing, making class books,
parent gifts, etc.
33. Attendance chart
In the first week or so I take a picture of each of my 4-year-
olds facing front and facing back. I get double prints
(developing is inexpensive here). Using one set, I cut them
out and glue the child facing front on a square of paper
about 4"x4" next to the words "Heidi is here" on the reverse
I put the picture of the child's back next to the
words "Heidi is not here" (obviously, use the various
children's names). I laminate the squares and post them in a
pocket chart. Each day when the children come in they turn
their picture around for attendance.
34. Stick puppets
I use the other set of prints to make stick puppets of the
children. Mostly I use them for pretend play, but they have
come in handy when you ask children to explain what happened
in an accident or incident. They can often act it out with
35. Photo portfolio
take photos throughout the year. collect photos of
each child for their portfolio. That way we can
include information about things like the complexity of their
block building or their involvement in pretend play, etc.
36. Emotions poster or book
Take pictures of the children feeling different ways, or ask them to make the expression. Make photos into a display "How do you feel today?"