It may be November, but I am already preparing for one of my favorite springtime photo projects. For the past two years I have created a Kindergarten photo book that is filled with many of our favorite memories from the school year, organized in a very kinder-friendly fashion: THE ALPHABET!
I create the books in Shutterfly. If you're not already using an online program for ordering and sharing photos, Shutterfly is a great way to go. It's free to create an account. You can upload and edit photos, organize them into albums, and create photo projects (like photo books!) as keepsakes or gifts.
More on that stuff later. First let's check out the photo books!
Both books are titled "A Kindergarten Alphabet." The academic year that the book was created is clearly displayed on the cover, title page, and book spine.
And yes, of course, they are both brightly colored!
Planning Your Alphabet Photo BookIt can be a challenge to find a good word for each letter of the alphabet. I highly recommend brainstorming ideas ahead of time and start thinking now of photo ops for the less-common letters of the alphabet.
Here are a few suggestions to get you started.
You only need 1-2 photos per letter of the alphabet. make them big and bold to make a big impact.
Include a photo of each child and place his/her photo on the page that corresponds with the first letter of their names. Let's face it, some letters are downright difficult to think of a photo moment for. Here are a few ideas for some especially tricky letters:
O: opening presents. Include a photo from Christmas or any other time that students open gifts in the classroom.
Q: quiet (student with a finger over their lips.) If you do a Q and U wedding or fun activity that involves a question mark, these are great ideas as well.
U: upside down. Take a regular photo then use the editing feature of the photo book to rotate the image so it is upside down. Your kids will love it!
Y: yummy. Include photos from a particularly tasty treat you had in class.
Z: zany. Add photos of students making silly (aka zany) faces.
It's ok to include 2 consecutive letters on the same page. Here, you can see that E and F share a page with each other. One photo is provided for each of these letters.
Don't forget to add yourself to the book on the page that matches the first letter of your last name!
U is always a tricky letter. I took a photo of the class making silly faces and rotated the image in the photo book editing tool so the picture is UPSIDE DOWN. This is always the student's favorite page to look at.
Z can be another tricky letter. I created a collage of all students in the class making ZANY faces.
Getting Started on Shutterfly.com
Creating a photo book is easy! Simply create a Shutterfly account and click on Photo Books. Depending on how much time you want to spend (and your level of technical expertise) you can select from 2 options for creating your book Simple Path or Custom Path.
Simple Path is great for quick projects. You select the photos and the Simple Path tool arranges and creates a book for you (you can edit the layout and details if you wish to change the Simple Path suggestions).
Custom Path is the more tedious way to go, but it lets you decide every detail of your photo book's layout and appearance. From font size and color, to page background designs, to photo sizes and layouts... EVERY. SINGLE. DETAIL is in your hands. It's great for the detail-oriented person (like me!) The process is web-based (so you don't have to install any software to your computer). The platform is user-friendly and easy on the eyes.
The previous Kindergarten Alphabet books I created are in my classroom library. My students LOVE looking at the first and second graders that they recognize in my old books. Just imagine their enthusiasm when my students see the book that THEY will be a part of later this spring!
More Alphabet Fun
Looking for Additional Inspiration for teaching the alphabet in kindergarten?
You will find more great ideas in this post!
Do you use photo books in your classroom? I would love to hear what you do with them!