Older adult woman exchanges laugh with middle school child in classroom.


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Intergenerational Learning Activities: Photography

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words.  A picture resulting from an intergenerational activity can result in a thousand words and memories.  As a grandparent or older adult volunteer, you can engage children and youth in fun but informative intergenerational photography project.  Everyone can learn:

  • How to tell a story from any image captured
  • How to create your own story from your own pictures
  • How to use photos in other fun activities (i.e. scrapbooks, slideshows, sharing photos online)

The possibilities for intergenerational connections through photography are limitless.  With the support of the Verizon Foundation and resources on Thinkfinity.org, this guide provides brief activity descriptions geared toward a broad range of ages.  We encourage you to submit additional suggestions and to connect with other older adults in an online user group for grandparents and volunteers with similar interests. 

Kindergarten to Grade 4: All About Me

  • Make a scrap book with family photos to tell stories about fun vacations, celebrations and pets.  A grandparent or older adult volunteer is a great help in making these books and is encouraged to also bring out their own family albums and share fun photos of their lives.
  • Looking at older photographs is another fun, learning experience with hidden history lessons included.  Young children today may have never seen things like type writers or movie projectors.  The people in older photos tell compelling stories as well.  How did people live in the 1950’s, 1940’s, or even at the turn of the century? 

The great thing about looking at photos, from the most recent family vacation to historical black and white images, is the stories they tell and their ability to spur anyone’s imaginations.  When children and older adults look through personal albums together, the stories and experiences are shared together. 

Grades 6 to 12:

  • Choose a photo and come up with a list of words that describe it. It can be a family photo, historical, one with friends or of nature etc.
  • Switch it up and choose a word then find or take photos that represent that word.

Additional Resources:



Global Intergenerational Conference
June 13-16, 2017
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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