5 objects in a bag – in a group of students…
First we talked about what is important if we want people to share their thoughts. This is what they said:
– that you know what you want to say
– that you don’t care about what the others might think about you
– that the listeners show respect for your opinions
– that you feel comfortable
So, we agreed that it’s important that we help each other.
the bag, the stone, the painted glass, the shell, the key ring of buttons, the “basket”, the clock, the black statue…
I put the things on a table in the middle and asked them to examine an item, and describe or show, in some way, the object or what they felt about it or what it made them feel or think, and then hand it over to someone else who could do the same, or first exchange it for another object.
They found it a bit hard to stay serious, and to understand what to do, and mostly they described the way the object looked. Not many changed object, or took the time/ made the effort/dared to really examine the object. When I then held up the painted glass (with green, blue and some hearts) and asked what it made them think about, one girl started to sing a well know Swedish song, and gave us an example of how you could express yourself, with that object as a starting point. I realized that they would have needed more time or preparation, since most of them were out of their comfort zone, during this exercise.
I really wanted them to take the time to look at things, and use their senses to describe, so next step, in groups, was to look at one object at the time, and try to describe it as well as they could, using different senses and make associations. They wrote it down on a paper, and after a while we changed objects and continued to make descriptions on the same paper as the previous group, until all groups had written about all objects.
This seemed a bit easier, and they were more focused. They wrote quite a lot, both the more talkative group and the more quiet group.
The next step, in the same groups, was to choose one of the objects, seek inspiration in the descriptions and decide what the object was. The only rule, was that it couldn’t be what it really was. They had to use their imagination and invent something new, and then make a poster to show their product.
They took on this work quite seriously, and most of them were involved in their groups work. When we talked about it after they had presented their products, they said it was fun, and a good thing that there were no limits. I was glad, since one of my main goals was that everyone would take part in the exercise, and that there would be no right or wrong. I also pointed it out to them that they were able to stay focused and serious, and that we now were in a different place than when we started with the objects…
A moving-hat that will take you anywhere you want to go, inspired by the basket that Spain (?) brought
/Anna, Medlefors, Sweden