16 February 2020

Get tips for film and media in the classroom – Skills not Frills video series – Film and Media #1

Photography is a simple and rewarding way for your young learners to use ICT to create fun and striking images.

Whether they use an iPad or a stills camera doesn’t matter. Teach the principles of photography across the whole curriculum.

Download this blog as a resource sheet.

Film and Media #1: Using photography with your pupils

ACTIVITY 1: Understanding the rule of thirds

The golden rule is often known as the Rule of Thirds. You imagine a grid that breaks down your frame into 9 equal parts, like this. 

You then compose your photo so that the things that are most interesting are positioned where these lines meet.  Many devices allow you to use a ready-made grid when taking your photos, which will really help your kids to grasp this simple, but effective method.

Because photography is so quick it is well suited to getting your pupils to learn by trial and error. Tell them the rule, then get them to take five photos that follow the rule. Look at the images with them and then give them feedback and get them to improve their work.

ACTIVITY 2: Experimenting with forced perspective

This is a really fun way to get your young learners to experiment with photography, to be creative and to create their own optical illusions. It works by using perspective to trick the viewer into thinking that people and objects are either bigger or smaller than they are. 

In order to create the illusion, encourage your learners to experiment with the position of the camera and the distance between the people and objects. To take it to the next level, ask your pupils to try including props or taking the photo upside down!

ACTIVITY 3: A photographic alphabet

Set your young learners a challenge. Ask them to take a series of 26 photos, either around the school, or even on a trip. But here is the trick, each photo has to represent one of the letters of the alphabet.

They could keep is simple. So, an photo of an apple for A or a banana for B… but they could make it more interesting, perhaps they have to take photos that show an emotion, so a photo that represents the idea of anger for A and bashful for B.

The most important part of this exercise is that you encourage them to share their work with the class and discuss the ideas behind their images, for example by asking the rest of the class to guess the word that inspired the photographic image. This will foster a sense of shared creativity and help them develop their oracy.

What next and where to find more help

LINKS: More resources to help you do photography with your pupils



This is a series of 15 ‘Skills not Frills’ resource sheets, each accompanying a short video.

This is no #1 of 3 media resource sheets and accompanying film.

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