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Enhancing Friendships Through Photography


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Keywords: Photography, Technology, English, Information Skills, Social Skills
Subject(s): Information Skills, Reading, Early Learning, Technology, Social Skills, Photography, English/Language Arts
Grade P-K
School: Sam E Hill Family & Cmty Ctr, Knoxville, TN
Planned By: Melanie Allen
Original Author: Melanie Allen, Knoxville
I work with preschool-aged children who are being introduced to digital photography and technology. They are also developing their communication and social skills.

I would first use two books from our OWL (Opening the World of Learning) curriculum ("A Letter to Amy" by Ezra Jack Keats and "Dear Juno" by Soyung Pak) to introduce the concept of developing friendships through correspondence containing both photos and printed text.

I would collaborate with a teacher at one of our affiliate preschool sites and have our students pair up as pen pals (cameras and supplies would be shared with the other preschool class). Each student would learn how to use digital cameras with assistance to create personalized photo booklets to serve as initial introductions to their pen pals. The students would also enlist the help of their families to incorporate information into their booklets about themselves, their families, and their favorites activities.

Throughout the year, the pen pals would continue their communications through photo booklets to keep each other updated on their activities inside and outside of the classroom.

As a class project, my class would use the Tool Factory software to create a website that would share details of our pen pal project. Students would be able to access the website with their parents, who would be invited to come in to our classroom to learn about digital photography, volunteer to assist students in taking photos and creating their booklets, and also contribute to our class website. In addition, other classes at our school and our affiliated preschool sites could access the website and be encouraged to develop their own pen pal projects.

Near the end of the school year, families would be invited to a special party where the pen pals could meet in person. Pen pals and their families would be able to take photos together and incorporate them into special crafts to commemorate their experience and celebrate their new friendships.
Materials: Web Page, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Point and Shoot
Other Items: 1 Photo Printer, $99.99 each, total of $99.99
2 Photo Paper, $34.99 each, total of $69.98
1 Black and Tri-Color Ink Cartridge Combo, $39.99 each, total of $39.99
1 Photo Ink Cartridge, $24.99 each, total of $24.99
1 Book Binding Spines, $9.99 each, total of $9.99