iPad Alphabet Photography Collages

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Just finished the fourth grade iPad Alphabet photography collages.

I am thrilled with the results!

Our fourth graders shot color letter photos in our school garden, using camera-equipped iPads and iPod touches. I wrote about the first two days of this process in this post.


On Day 3, students brought iPads to the art room (note: make sure your tables are super clean!). Students partnered up to help each other during the photo selection and editing process. First they selected their single best photo. Using the basic photo edit in the device, the students cropped their photos, changed them to black and white, then saved to the device’s camera roll.

Next, students emailed me their best single b&w photos.

I used a Mac computer equipped with iPhoto to sort the photos. Whatever photo editing application you use, I highly suggest creating a folder for each letter.

To create the group collages, I used the free website Pic Monkey. It was easy to create a grid and upload the 26 letter photos for each collage. I even added a frame and text before saving the photo. Note: Pic Monkey requires Flash and cannot be used on an iPad. Also, if you use Pic Monkey, plan on filling that grid in one sitting as you cannot save work to the site.

I’m not going to lie – the whole process took a lot of time. I did the collages at home after hours. I am not a photographer, and there was a lot of trial and error.
I will teach it differently next time, specifically:

Model cropping,
Model saving as a black and white image,
Model emailing photos to me with a correct email address, and subject line including name, teacher and letter.

I will also seek alternate iPad apps for the students, and photo collage apps for me.

Have you taught a photo project using iPads? Please share!

UPDATE: DONE! I finished the iBook for this lesson plan. It contains all the alphabet photos and collages.

You need an iPad to read it. Here is the link




Check out this book on the iBookstore:

Cover Art

iPad Alphabet Photography

Rina Vinetz, Cara Spitzmiller & Angie Tremble

Category: Education

iPad Alphabet Photography for Fourth Grade

Armed with camera-equipped iPads and iPods, our fourth graders spread out in our school garden in search of alphabet letters. Each student was assigned a letter to photograph.

Letter O

It was interesting to see how they completed the assignment: some students found letters in the branches of trees, some created letters from stones and twigs. Some poured water on the pavement to draw their letter. If they were absolutely stumped (get it?) , I let them use a letter from the garden signs. I asked students to take 5-10 photos of their letter.

I am happy to report the fourth graders LOVED looking for letters. They were completely engaged, and helped each other.¬† I heard a lot of shouts of “I found a T! Who has T?”

This week, students used their devices and the Pic Collage app to turn their best photos into a photo collage. I asked them to zoom in so that we could really see the letter – aim for making a letter so clear a kindergartener could recognize it. They emailed me their files and we reviewed them as a class.

Great work fourth graders!

Our fourth graders are in a pilot 1:1 iPad program, and it is a huge success. The goal is to turn all the photos into a free digital book downloadable through Apple’s iBooks store.

Inspiration for this project came from www.alphabetphotography.com.

UPDATE: see the completed whole-alphabet collages in this post.

‘Picasso’ Tree

I saw an unusual tree this morning:

It looked like a collection of off-kilter facial features….

A ‘Picasso tree’!

Here it is cropped:

Just had to post this one!


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