The Best Part of Me: Developing a Positive Self-Image

June 22, 2008

The Best Part of Me: Developing a Positive Self-ImageWendy 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.

The Best Part of Me: Developing a Positive Self-Image

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.

Mariah Bruehl is a parent, educator, and author of the book Playful Learning: Develop Your Child’s Sense of Joy and Wonder (Shambhala Publications, 2011). In 2008 Mariah brought her expertise online, creating the Parents’ Choice Gold Medal award-winning Web site Playful Learning. In 2011 she launched the Playful Learning Ecademy, which takes virtual-learning experiences to a new level by incorporating the best practices in education with engaging hands-on lessons, bringing parents and children together from all over the world into a unique, creative, community environment.


  1. Jeannine said on May 7, 2013 #

    I really like this idea! Thanks for sharing it. I’m an early childhood educator, so I will definitely be able to use this, but I think that even teens and adults would benefit from taking a step back from the hussle of the world and recognize these things.

    • Mariah said on May 7, 2013 #

      Hi Jeannine – I completely agree! It would be a great project for teens and adults to do…

  2. DinoMama said on July 14, 2013 #

    You have just given me another way to teach my son about how others will see him when he is having his temper tantrums. Thanks!

    • DinoMama said on July 14, 2013 #

      Opps forgot to mention that I’ll be sharing it and pinning it =)

    • Mariah said on July 15, 2013 #

      Hi DinoMama – That sounds great! Please let me know how it goes… Photography can be a very powerful tool.

  3. [...] a related note, Encourage Children’s Personality Instincts, Don’t Destroy Them. I love this project from Playful Learning Ecademy designed to promote positive self-image. It’s applicable to [...]

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