I always begin photography with Point of View. Right away I want my students to get into the habit of getting down low like a worm, or up high like a bird. This gets them close to their subjects and thinking about what angle to best shoot something from.
Before I even hand them cameras we talk about how a worm and bird see the world. If you were a worm in this room, where would you be? I ask for volunteers to physically show us how to be a worm. This brings them straight to the floor. I explain how photographers get down and dirty if they have to get the best point of view.
Next, I ask them how a bird sees the world: from above. I ask them how they would be a bird in our room? Student volunteers will carefully stand on a table or chair. We talk about how we can be high up around the school, or even just standing over someone who is sitting. I tell them how if I were to photograph a party I would try to get a bird eye view of everyone dancing and I might stand on a chair to get the whole room.
In the past, I have taught this lesson without cameras. Following the above intro I have given out paper cameras so students can get used to looking through a view finder. Then, I handed out paper so they can draw a bird’s eye or worm’s eye view. Next class they got the cameras and they were super ready to be worms and birds.