Learn All Year Long
ReadWriteThink has a variety of resources for out-of-school use. Visit our Parent & Afterschool Resources section to learn more.
Write Captivating Captions
- Favorite photographs or magazine photo clippings
- Paper and pencil, markers, or crayons
- Glue, tape, or self-adhesive photo corners
Before beginning this activity, help the child to choose at least four favorite photos or ask the child’s caregiver to provide photos. If photos are not available, you might take some of the child. The activity works best if the child is in all or most of the pictures, but you can also do it using images you select from interesting, age-appropriate magazines. If you have your own scrapbooks or photo albums with captions available, share them for inspiration.
- Glue or stick the photos or magazine images on the paper. Make sure you leave enough room for the captions.
- Ask the child to tell you about each of the photos, asking questions about the people, places, and activities in them. While he or she is talking, write down notes on a piece of paper. Make sure you jot down place words, action words, and names. For example:
- Talk about the notes you wrote down. Ask the child which of the sentences describe the image the best. Remind him or her to use the words I or me when talking about him- or herself. Keep the captions short, no more than two or three sentences. If the child wants to, he or she can use the different captions to tell a continuous story about a certain day or event.
- After the child has chosen the best sentences, write them on a separate piece of paper. Younger children with limited writing abilities will need you to write sentences as they say them aloud. But as you work, you can ask the child what letter words start with or have the child help with spellings of words.
Older, more advanced writers can write the sentences themselves. Encourage the child to sound out the words when writing. Spelling errors are fine at the drafting stage. Review the sentences and write the correct spellings underneath the misspelled words, so that the final caption has the correct spellings.
- Once the final captions are written, cut them out and glue them to the page with the corresponding photos. If you like, you can staple or tie the pages together.
We are at the zoo.
I am blowing out the candles.
My best friends Katie and Tom are trick-or-treating with me.
- If the child enjoys this project, help him or her create a photo journal as a gift for a family member or friend. Help gather photos of the family member or friend and follow the steps above. Have the child make a cover by writing a title for the album on a sheet of paper and then decorating it.
- Help the child create his or her own alphabet book using photos to illustrate each letter. Walk around the block or take a trip to the park or zoo with the child. Make a game out of finding and then taking photos of items, making sure you get one for each letter of the alphabet. (This may require more than one outing.) Once the photos are developed or printed, have the child glue the photos to paper and write the corresponding letter, or even a sentence, to go with it. Staple or tie the pages together to make a book.