Family Photo Essay Activity

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Updated on Sep 4, 2012

According to an old saying, a grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart. Help your child honor her grandpa this Father's Day by creating an original photo essay just for him. Writing personal essays and narratives helps kids develop important composition skills such as storytelling, sequencing, and organization. This handwritten, one-of-a-kind Father's Day gift is sure to mean more to Grandpa than a new tie or a box of golf balls ever could.

What You Need:

  • Photograph of your child's grandfather
  • Tape or glue
  • Paper
  • Ruler
  • Pen

What You Do:

  1. Together with your child, look through some family photos that include her grandfather and talk about what she remembers of the occasions in the photographs. Ask questions to help her elaborate on specific details.
  2. Have her choose one photo to write about, and glue that photo to the top of a sheet of paper.
  3. To get the creative juices flowing, help her do a pre-writing activity such as brainstorming a list of adjectives that describe the memory from the photograph.
  4. Now invite her to write a title at the top of the essay, centering it under the photograph.
  5. If the paper is not lined, your child may want to draw lines about ½ inch apart using a ruler.
  6. Give her time to write her essay. Encourage her to write a first draft on a separate piece of paper; this encourages the idea of writing as a process and takes away pressure to make it perfect the first time around.
  7. Have your child copy the essay onto the paper if she wrote the draft separately.

Kids often enjoy the writing process more when it relates directly to their own lives. If your child has trouble limiting her essay to just one photograph, feel free to expand the activity into a longer memory book or a scrapbook with descriptive captions.