I cannot express the importance of teaching the rule of thirds EARLY in your photography class. I do it right after point of view. I love to show this quick youtube video on the rule of thirds because it just spells it out in a simple way. I show many examples with, and without the grid or tic-tac-toe lines.
With the little kids I stress the importance of putting whatever the subject its on the LEFT on the RIGHT but NOT in the MIDDLE. This becomes our rule of thirds mantra and we say it together as a class. “On the Left on the Right, Not in the Middle.”
Not to say that putting your subject in the middle is wrong, rules are made to be broken! When something is begging to be perfectly symmetrical, or in the middle, rule of thirds won’t necessarily work. But always try! This is digital photography, we can take thousands of pictures here!
I like to give my younger students a beanie baby to photography, because A, I have SO MANY and B, they’re adorable. We also review point of view here too. So I’ll show them a Rule of thirds shot of a beanie baby in a dramatic bird’s eye or worm’s eye view and quiz them at this point. Then for their shoot on this day they will be expected to take rule of thirds pictures in bird’s eye and worm’s eye view while keeping the beanie baby on the right or left side, NOT in the middle.