Examining Our Experiences

To start part two of Becoming, the Junior Viewfinders explored a life-changing moment for them, a moment where things truly and significantly changed for them. We asked them to think about that moment and then either write or draw about it in their journals. We offered some examples: the birth of a younger sibling, moving, switching schools, meeting a new friend, a big mistake they made. It proved to be rather difficult for the youth to figure this out. Partly, they weren't that interested in answering that question, but also, more fundamentally, they struggled to step back and see a moment where things really changed for them. We managed to get responses from everyone, but they tended to mimic our examples pretty strongly.

Next, we showed an example video that one of our instructors had made about a life-changing experience for her. This was meant to help guide them as they worked on a personal growth storyboard, which contained deeper, more detailed questions about that life-changing experience. Again, the lack of investment at the beginning of the lesson carried over to filling out this handout. So, we called a sort of audible. The youth were supposed to all take or find photos that could be in a video they were going to make about their experience, but instead we decided to focus on one youth's experience because she'd done a stellar job on her handout. We turned it into an acting game, where all the youth recreated the scenes in her story and we took photos. The youth enjoyed this much more than the prior activities. It was a good example of the importance of improvising and the willingness to respond to the group's energy when working with kids, especially in an after school setting. Below are some photo from our improvised activity.