Elementary Photo Club / Yearbook Ideas
To make this story short, it has long been my goal to be both a teacher and a photographer, and so far it’s working out great! I photograph weddings/seniors in the summer and this fall I’ll be starting my first year of teaching elementary school in a charter school in the US (Colorado). (Yes, I am excited for it!)
It is a brand-new school opening this year, so it’s very open to new ideas. Our principal has asked the teachers to come up with ideas for after school programs and activities that we could run. Obviously, being a photographer, that’s what came to mind for me.
I would like to propose some sort of photo club or yearbook after-school program, probably for the older students (4th-5th graders, age 10-12). I would guess that I could handle maybe 15-20 students for something like this. (I’ll have 27 in my 1st grade classroom.) I am guessing that something like this would probably meet once a week, maybe twice, after school... maybe for around an hour.
Here, I am coming to you because I think that with so many great minds here, there have to be some great ideas for things that I could propose for this photo club!
I think my main goals for teaching (digital) photography to these kids for the year would be: 1) Basic concepts in photography i.e. composition, shutter speed, iso, aperture, maybe white balance, a little history (very basic obviously for kids) and 2) some form of basic post processing or simple design, potentially for some form of printed yearbook to be distributed at the end of the year (head shots, sports, other after school clubs, class activities, etc.) I assume that I will do the majority of the work for said yearbook, but would want the students to feel as if they had a hand in it. The school is K-5 for now, but we will add grades for three years until we’re a K-8, so there is room for growth in this program potentially.
Since I haven’t proposed anything yet, I don’t know what kind of a budget I’ll have if any. I want to have something to present to them, though. If no budget… obviously that will put a stopper on this and I’ll have to drop it. So, I’m going to assume that if they like this idea, I might have a limited budget for 5-10 cameras (maybe more if I’m lucky) that the kids would check out (not take home, but for events at school) and share, and maybe some cheaper software.
I would love some recommendations for:
1) Kid-friendly cameras that would make using manual settings straightforward to use (not buried in menus). I’m looking to propose a range of potential cameras, anything ranging from $100-$450 each. I’d love to do something like the Nikon D40, or even something like the Canon G7 (of course I’d love to do an SLR but that may not be possible, I’d like to have cheaper options)… and admittedly I’m not very “up” on the Olympus or Pentax worlds so maybe some recommendations there would be good.
2) Kid-friendly photo processing software, mainly to fix exposure/white balance, sharpen and crop. It's possible that something that comes with the camera will do the job.
3) Does any one know of any good programs for a small elementary yearbook layout, or a good printing company for such a thing?
4) Any recommendations or ideas for the club itself, any experience teaching kids concepts in photography…
I should mention that this school has very involved parents so the chances of me having some parent helpers, even one or two who are into photography, is very high (yay!). I will also see if the art teacher would like to be involved.
Thank you all for any thoughts and recommendations. I’m very excited to propose something to the principal and parent board, and I want it to be knock-out!
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