Last year was my first year teaching photography. One thing I found really useful in teaching students the parts of the camera was having them draw their own cameras. (They had to supply their own 35mm cameras, so everybody had something different.) That way, when I mentioned the shutter or the aperture students could refer to their own drawing if they were unsure of what I was referring to. I can't remember how long exactly it took us to get into the darkroom, but it was several weeks. We went over the parts of the camera, the properties of light, film, and shot and processed a roll of film before even venturing into the darkroom.
I saved pinhole photography for the end of the year, when enthusiasm was waning, to say the least! My students loved it!!! They thought it was magic.