I have worked with kids in a local Urban 4H program for the past two years. Last year, I had the fortune to meet and teach 10 recent Burmese middle-schoolers who had recently arrived in the United States. We explored photography together for about 6 months. At the end of the program, I led them through a “Best Part of Me” lesson. The lessons involved: setting our digital camera settings to the B/W option, examining a variety of self-portraits from books and magazines, playing with lighting, discussing setting, choosing “best parts,” creating lists of descriptive words and writing final narratives. This is the work they created.
The biggest challenge with these kids was the language barrier. Two of the kids had a confident command of English, but the others did not. I encouraged them to express their thoughts in Karen, their native language, but they insisted on muddling through with English. We spent a lot of time on the narratives that accompany these pictures. A challenge for me was the fact that most of the girls wanted to write about their hair! It was such a source of pride for them (no matter how much I would say, “But you have such beautiful eyes…expressive hands…strong arms…etc.)-Lauren Comly, a self-directed LTP enthusiast
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Lauren Comly’s contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org