To begin each school year, we (Ines and Sam) create welcome messages for children to find in their school mailbox. This year, we thought it would be fun to explore our own classroom provocation (intended for the children's use) to create these messages for them.
The motivation behind the provocation was to encourage children to explore the idea of self-identity.
Who am I?
How can I can I take an existing image of myself and alter it?
How do the materials I choose and the alterations I make to my photo express my unique interests, preferences, and personality?
Once everyone had received their personalized message from us and had expressed interest and excitement in the provocation, we spent a morning meeting sharing the images with the entire class.
For the past two weeks, each child's portrait (printed on transparency paper) has been available at our light table as well as a large variety of materials to play with, enhance, and alter their images.
Some children were inspired to change their existing physical appearance based on personal preferences such as favorite colors or favorite objects.
Some children made connections to their personal life and their existing self-perception.
Luke found a butterfly charm to represent his school symbol that he included in his photo.
Children's symbols help develop a sense of belonging, ownership, and identity within the school community (and beyond).
Many children found the experience to be humorous and enjoyable.
It can be both entertaining and exciting to take on a completely different persona!
Some children created a scene around their photo or took on an abstract form.
The thought of changing his image did not particular intrigue nor excite Hugh. Instead, he decided to alter his image by including his new dog, Zuzu, in the photo with him!
To do so, he needed to find materials that he believed accurately represented his puppy.
Children have also been exploring identity, adopting new personas, and "changing their image" in our classroom photo booth area!
Please look forward to more documentation on these experiences in the future.