KEY QUESTION: What images would we choose to share how we see our place?
Postcards are a familiar and popular way of sharing how we see any particular place. In this activity we will use the idea of multi-image postcards, where multiple images are used to represent different features of a place.
You might want to begin this activity by sharing examples of this type of postcard. These are readily available from many shops, post-offices and tourist attractions.
The aim of this activity is to create a multi-image postcard to represent your own place. Learners must source or produce images of their place and then use selection activities to arrive at an agreed number of images.
This activity is good for visual literacy and for visual and kinesthetic learning. It uses sorting, observation and discussion. By getting learners to think about and justify their decisions, they are also learning to reflect.
There are many ways in which you could organise and run this activity. It could for example, be linked to the activity ‘My Place Through a Lens’ by using that activity to generate the photos needed for this one.Here is one suggested model:
1. Familiarise learners with the idea of multi-image postcards by sharing examples physically or on a whiteboard. Have they seen them before? If so, where were they of? Can they remember? You could ask them to think about why a mutli-image postcard might be good for sharing information about a place (many aspects of any one place, different perspectives etc).
2. Collect together photos of your place. How many you gather is up to you, but we would suggest collecting at least twice (and preferably three times) as many as you want to end up with. In other words, for a 5 image postcard, we would suggest collecting 10-15 images to select from. Here are some ideas for collecting photos:
Learners could take their own images as school or homework activity;
Learners gather images from home as a homework task;
Use local newspapers over a period;
Local library for books about where you live – these could be photocopied;
If available for your place, postcards can provide a good source of images;
A google images or other web-based image search of your local place.
3. Introduce a framework for a multi-image postcard. You may wish to offer them a template, but more capable learners could be encouraged to design their own framework as a design/art activity.
This activity works well as a physical activity, sorting printed images, but it could also be done using digital images and a digital template as an ICT activity.
4. Within a school this activity could be completed in groups (within a class) or by classes (across a school). These groups could then compare their postcards with each other. How are their images similar? How are they different? Why might this be?
Learners should record why they chose their selected images. The back of the postcard could be used for this purpose. Learners should be encouraged to share their reasoning as well as their images. How similar or different are their reasons? You may like to remind your learners that these activities are about perspectives and not answers. All views should be valued.
5. If you managed to find multi-image postcards of your place, you could introduce (revisit if used earlier) these as a reflection stimulus. How do the images compare with those chosen by learners? Learners might like to think about audience and purpose in making their comparisons. Thinking about what we have learnt in this activity about how we see where we live, what does it tell us about how we might see other places?