There is so much to discover in my identity!
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.” – Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
Show the children things that you, as the educator love or different things that people in general love (animals, friends, baking etc). The images used by the educator should reflect a variety of ethnicities, gender and things that children may like. This is a good way to facilitate identity and belonging in children. Use and describe images that reflect and respect children’s cultures and families. Examples could include pictures of parents, siblings, grand-parents, friends or special treats. It may also be a good idea to tell the children to bring in pictures of things they love a few days before.
Discuss all the things that the children have brought in or identified as things that they love. Why do they love these things and what do they have in common with their friends? For example, do they like some of the same things or does something they do or like make them unique? Take time to discuss what the Early Learners (ELs) love and why these things are special to them.
Explain that we all have something unique about us and things that we love/like. That is what makes us special and unique. Something you may like another person may not but that’s okay. After showing stimulus, encourage ELs to depict their own version of love and things that they like.
Present the early learners with pastels, coloured paper, pencils, crayons and allow them to explore using and holding their tools and materials (if not already familiar of if they are young). Allow the early learners to draw/depict what they love or what they think love encapsulates.
Gather drawings and display. Refer back to aim asking relevant questions. Remember it is about the process and not the product. Allow children to display their concept of love abstractly or whatever way they see fit.
- Who is that in your drawing?
- What colours did you use?
- Did you use any new colours?
Encourage the early learners to talk about their feelings and emotions related to love.
You could also do this learning opportunity as a whole class group. Bring in a large piece of paper and allow each child to decorate a section of the page with things that they love.
Looking and responding
Use primary and secondary visual aids such as the pictures above and the children’s pictures or things they have brought in that they love.
Ask questions to generate discussion:
- Tell me about your picture…
- What do you see here?
- Why is this picture special to you?
- What is happening here?
- Who is this in the picture with you?
Explain that we all have something unique about us and things that we love/like. That is what makes us special and unique. Something you may like another person may not but that’s okay.
- National Council for Curriculum and Assessment (NCCA) (2009a) Aistear: The Early Childhood Curriculum Framework. Dublin: NCCA.
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