Camera Chain Letter Activity

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The other day I was cleaning out one of the many junk drawers in our home. I rediscovered a lot of curious and random things, most of which ended up in the recycling/trash. However, included in my findings were 2 disposable cameras that I remember purchasing awhile ago. My initial impulse was to pitch them; after all, I don’t even know where to have the film developed but I figured if I kept them, my son could have them to play with. Coincidentally, later that day L asked me about chain letters, and as I explained the concept to him his eyes grew bigger with excitement at the idea of starting his own chain letter (NOW I see how they get started!).
Camera Chain Letter 1

I suggested we use the disposable cameras to start a photographic camera chain letter activity. We would start the chain by mailing the camera to his cousins in Vermont, ask them to take ONE photo and then mail it off to someone else (who would then also take ONE photo and send the camera on). In the envelope we included a self-addressed envelope as well as a sheet of paper where participants can share their contact info and what they photographed so that when we get the camera back in our hands we can share the photos with all who were part of the chain. We are super excited to see how far our camera will travel!

Target Skills:
Building connections
Perspective Taking
Following Directions
Materials:
Disposable camera
Box of Padded envelopes
Stamps
Instructions:
Take a great photo with the disposable camera.
Put the camera and a self-addressed padded envelope in a box.
Include directions to take one photo and pass it on to somebody else, and to send the camera back to you when all of the photos have been taken.
Include a list for people to write their contact info so that you can see where your
camera has been and also so that you can share the photos with them once you get the camera back.
Mail the packet off to a friend.
When you get the camera back, develop all of the pictures to see where your camera has been!
Ways to Extend this Activity:
Have a class or group of children take the pictures then have them guess who took which picture.
Write stories about each others pictures.
Arrange with a “sister class/school” to have each class from the different places take the pictures then trade them with each other.
Have a video chat with each other, discuss the photos.
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