How do you write an essay without using words? Make a photo essay! This fun photography activity makes writing come to life by turning words into pictures. This activity is perfect for your middle school child who has trouble understanding parts of a story or thinks that writing can be boring.
What You Do:
- Before you begin, come up with a list of creative writing prompts for your child. Here are a few examples: “One day you woke up and you were 50 ft tall;” “You looked outside and the rain was falling up;” or “The apple twitched.” If you need inspiration, you can go online and search for other prompts.
- Have your child pick one creative writing prompt from the list and write 150-200 words on the prompt.
- Grab the camera and have your child take five photos that represent her creative writing piece. Tell her to take as many photos as she wants, but she must pick five that (as a set) will represent her entire story the best.
- Take the five photos and glue each one to a sheet of thick paper so that they are nicely mounted and “framed” by the borders of the paper.
- Look at the photos. Ask your child why she chose each picture and how it represents the story.
- Have your child label each photo with the element of the story that it represents. If she gets stuck, have her choose from these universal story elements: setting, characters, theme, introduction, climax, conclusion, and conflict.
- Your child has finished her photo essay! Have her help you hang the mounted whotos in a room or hallway in an order that makes sense with the story. Invite the rest of the family to see the exhibit and have your child read the story aloud to everyone, showing the photos as she goes. Your child will have a better understanding of parts of a story as well as a new perspective on creative writing!
When friends and other family members see what your child has put together, they may be inspired to stretch their creative muscles too! Have your child plan another exhibit, and leave time for everyone to prepare his own photo essay. She'll be pleased to see how much her loved ones have to say!