Homeschool Photography Lesson Plan


Photography week was a great hit in our Smorgasbord free homeschool curriculum! We really enjoyed this one.

The homeschool lesson plan for this week is to take 12 photographs to use to make a monthly calendar (1 photograph per month). We decided that this would make a great gift for family and friends.

Some of our Photographs

This would be a great project to keep for a week when you have lots of running around to do. It involves going out quite a bit (to take photographs) and of course, going out early morning or sunset makes for better photos. It is definitely not a 'sit around the table' kind of week!

It rained non-stop during our week - but we still managed to get some good shots. So don't worry too much about the weather - just make the most of what you have.


Charge your camera batteries.
Find your camera manual (if you still have it) and a tripod (if you have got one).
Print out some examples of photography and/or find a photo calendar.

If you can get them, then it also helps to have :
  • A sheet of accatate film, permanent marker and a ruler.

  • Some sun-sensitive paper

    Lesson Plan

    Day 1 - Composition.
    Explain the project to the children and show them if possible an example of a photo-calendar. Decide on some possible subjects or locations for your calendar - as well as landscapes or nature photography, you could do portraits or still-life pictures.

    Explain to them about the rules of composition. Draw a grid on your sheet of accatate and put it over the printed out photgraphs to see the rules in action. Some cameras enable you to set a grid over your viewfinder so you are reminded of the rules when you take a picture.

    Go and take some pictures!

    Day 2 - Light
    Talk about how cameras work and the use of light (exposure). Take some prints with your sun-sensitive paper so you can see the process in action (although slower than in a camera).

    Have a look at your camera and see if it has any options for different light conditions eg. snow, candlelight, fireworks, etc. Try to include different light conditions in todays photography sessions (ie. take a picture of a candle, or the stars).

    Day 3 - History
    You may like to talk today a little about the history of photography. And try to make your own camera obscura or pinhole camera.

    Go and take more photographs.

    Day 4 - Special Effects
    Most photographs these days are digitally enhanced to make them look better. Today you can try adding special effects to your pictures.

    PicMonkey is a free online editing tool you could try. Just upload your pictures and work online. You can try changing the exposure and colors of your photo (under edit) - or see how your picture looks in black and white or sepia (under create). See if you can improve your pictures - or add your name to them like a painting.

    Last chance to take more photographs.

    Day 5 - View, review and make your calendar.
    I found two sites where you can make and print your calendar for free (I am sure there are more!)
  • Calendarlabs.

  • HP website.

  • We were so pleased with our results, that we decided to have it printed for us. We used Vistaprint (it was the cheapest in the UK at the time) - but there are lots of companies that do it - do a search on 'photo calendar' to find them.

    Further Help and Resources

    There is lots of scope in this weeks lesson plan to add things you would like to try. I already have some photography project ideas on my photography for kids page, so why not start there.

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    Comments for Homeschool Photography Lesson Plan

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    great stuff!
    by: maya lucas

    I think your site is wonderful, and Im always sending it to friends to sign upto. Ive home schooled for eight years full time with three kids, and it always inspires me to try some thing new. Were going to try the something new every week approach for now, as we were getting in a rut. so thanks again! cheers maya lucas

    A great idea
    by: Caroline

    we subscribe to your site as it's full of great advice and ideas. My 14 year old is going to try doing this spontaneous one subject a week and is going to start off with the photography one. Thank you.

    Click here to add your own comments

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