Wendy Ewald, the editor of the book, The Best Part of Me is a woman and an educator I have admired for many years. When I was teaching, I became deeply inspired by her Literacy Through Photography project and began to use photography with my students as a way to help them develop their voice.
The book, The Best Part of Me, is a wonderful resource and a good catalyst for sparking meaningful conversations and a fun photography project to share with your children.
I started out by telling the girls that I had an important question for them. They asked me what the question was and I told them that I needed to read them a special book before I could ask them the question. Well… at this point they were so curious that they begged me to read them the book. They loved reading the book, which consists of photographs and writing by children. Each child was asked to choose and write about the best part of themselves. The text is actually printed in the child’s own handwriting so the girls really felt as if they were reading the work of their peers. They asked me to read their favorite parts of the book to them again and again. At the end of the book I asked them, “What is the best part of you?”
They instantly started calling out a variety of answers and with our camera in hand we immediately went outside to take pictures. Later, I showed them the pictures we had taken and asked them if they wanted to write (dictate) some words to go with the pictures. Try to guide your children into going beyond their physical attributes. Encourage them to explore what they are able to do with their hands, mouths, ears, legs, etc. that makes them so special.
This experience is great for developing a healthy self-image as well as a good catalyst for discussions about how we are all different and the same.
A great way to continue the development of a healthy self-image is to pay close attention to the way you communicate with each other as a family. A great resource for improving family communication is our Put-Up and Put-Down eCourse.