Nature Photography

By Erin TessierIf you are ever at a loss for what to do with your child some afternoon, hand them a camera. Sure, that’s usually the opposite of what you hear…it is a technological device after all…but I promise you won’t regret it. It can be an old phone camera, an iPad, an old digital camera from 1999, or one of those kid’s cameras…doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend a polaroid camera at this age with some of our trigger-happy toddlers, but that could easily be in their future. The results are amazing.This activity allows them to learn a new skill, increase their autonomy, and increase vocabulary just to name a few benefits. For instance, their engagement in the subject of their photos encourages them to learn the vocabulary of what they’ve photographed. They will likely want to identify the things they have taken photos of, and we all know more learning takes place when it is child led/inspired.Recently in the nature lab, we’ve revisited the idea of loving nature and how we can show our appreciation for nature. Besides composting, planting native pollinator plants, recycling, etc, we can also show our appreciation by taking pictures of what we find beautiful in nature. So we handed every single child a camera and gave them time to explore and wander, and they certainly delivered.It’s been such a pleasure seeing what they find beautiful and interesting. Viewing things through their eyes and their perspective has been enlightening. We can see what catches their attention and build on that in future lessons. Also, they’ve helped me spot plant diseases I hadn’t seen since I’m not always looking that closely at that level. While looking through their photos I noticed powdery mildew starting on the snap peas and aloe mite on some of our aloes. Thanks, kiddos!Every single CMP child has now taken a nature photo and those photos will be on display at our upcoming “Gallery in the Glenn” (art show) on March 21st and 22nd. To continue the project, I’d recommend asking them to draw/paint the picture they’ve taken. It can be a continuing process to reevaluate the most lifelike colors to use when recreating their photo using other media. You can also create a puzzle or photograph changes throughout the season. The possibilities are endless! Happy Photographing!Photos taken by: Leah Camhi, Jaxton Cuba, Samuel Hernandez, Julia Martins, Mason Rieselman, and Emma Lim.Further Resources

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