I went into it not expecting much. I wasn't sure if they would be completely bored or enthusiastic (you never know with teens). I'm happy to say that they completely surpassed my expectations.
I started out by talking about how photography can help you be present by being in the moment while taking an image. I also talked about using photography as a way to express and channel emotions into something productive, creating a piece of art. I projected some of my own work as examples of my own self-expression.
I then sent them off into a park close by to tell stories of their own. The only rule was that they had to tell a story in three images and could only take up to fifteen. I made sure they understood it wasn't about continuously clicking, that they had to spend at least 30 seconds looking at the subject, seeing it from different angles, and capturing their own unique vision of it. (Something I learned from my own mentor Banafsheh during our many photo outings.) These were all taken with phones or point and shoot cameras so the day was all about "channeling their creativity" and less about the tool they were using. I also wanted them to feel like they could go home and use this outlet for creativity at any time.
Here are a few pics I took of them taking pictures also taken with my iphone (edited with vscocam app). I gave them about 15 minutes to take these and some of them were still taking pictures after the fifteen minutes! I was happy they were focusing and getting into the art.