Inspired by a recent* comprehensive Chuck Close photography exhibit at PAFA, I designed a lesson for my pre-Kindergartners that would allow them to dip into old school photography.
In Close's show, there were two enourmously large scale still lifes photomontages of flowers - which is where I drew my subject matter. Many of the photo collages that were in the exhibition were visibly held together with tape, which gave them an imperfect and purposeful feel - a connection I intentionally included in our version of this project.
Our small friends have experimented with photography before, and we reviewed parts of a camera. We've also done some still life drawing, so were able to dip back into that experience - setting the scene, choosing what to include in our frame, etc.
Students took two or three instant photos of live cut flowers, anxiously and excitedly watching them develop. For this endeavor, I used my tried and true favorite instant film - Fuji Instax Wide. The colors and price can't be beat! After a week of taking pictures (and trying to refresh my wiltering bouquets), all the kids IN THE WHOLE SCHOOL had snapped photos of our sunflowers, carnations, and daisies. Each kids work was collected in a labeled envelop for later.
The second week of this project was all about layout. The kids arranged their photos onto 12x12" cardstock, glued or taped them down, and then decorated with colored tape, metallic markers, or other ephemera they dreamed up.
*btw this exhibit turned out to be somewhat controversial. After it was open, several credible sexual misconduct accusations came out against Chuck Close. PAFA handled the news in a very cool way, and instead of pulling the show, they scheduled exhibitions and open ended talks about power dynamics in art and the museum and art viewers responsibilities.