1.)If using digital cameras, allow the students to take pictures of simple things in the classroom or around the school. If a digital camera is not available, use the school's Ellison Die cutter and cut out various shapes (white paper cut-outs allow for more creativity) or use pages torn from old magazines to get cut-outs.
2.)If using the cameras, print the photographs onto paper. Then have the students cut out one simple image from their photos. For example, if taking a picture of a desk in a classroom, just cut out the desk. For outside images, a tree, a bench, a car, a swing, or other simple objects would be great for this activity. The teacher may need to help the students with their photo selections.
3.)Now, whether using a cut-out or a cut up photo, this step applies to all. On a large piece of white paper (14" x 17" copy paper works great), have the students write the sentence "It's not a _____________, it's a..." They need to look at their pictures for a few minutes. Have them turn it, twist it, rotate, etc. until they are able to see something else creative in the image. If they are using a cut-out of a desk, they may write "It's not a desk, it's a train car."
4.)After the students come up with their "transformation" and they write it on their papers, they will position it on their papers so that it can be transformed. They then glue it down (after plenty of thought). The desk example could be glued down toward the side of the paper. The student could then draw a train engine in front of the desk. The desk could become the second train car. And other cars could be added behind it.
5.)Adding Details: Really push the children to add details to their drawings. Examples: Smoke coming from the engine, coal spilling out of the desk/train car, a street with a railroad crossing sign. Kids are so creative with a little encouragement!
Color the transformations after all details are drawn.
6.)WRITE: After the "transformation" is complete, the students will add a descriptive writing to their pictures. This is a creative writing activity that will be typed on the computer or on the Alphasmarts. The students create a story that goes along with their photos. Sticking to the train example, the students could write: "This is the Maylene Express. It is filled with coal and gravel and it's on its way to the factory. The factory is going to use the coal for fuel, and the gravel will be spread over the bumpy road. The engineer needs to hurry, though, because it's running late today! I hope the boss doesn't get mad!"
7.)Students will then do a final edit. Run the spell checker and reread the stories to be sure they make sense. These writings are short; a paragraph would be quite sufficient. However, to adapt it for upper grades, have the students develop a full-length story to accompany the drawings.
8.)Help the students print their writing out on paper and attach it to their pictures. These cute and creative transformations make great displays for outside your classroom or on a bulletin board!