As we said last week, Christopher Columbus didn’t reach what he thought was India in one day.
In the same way, our Billund cartographers needed another week to work on their 3D big box maps. Adding more elements, their boxes have started to mirror their thoughts and feelings about home.
After a quick review within the groups discussing and remembering what we did last week, we then had to decide if we wanted to carry on with the previous projects, or create something completely new, to work with the same friend or with another member of the group.
The children in Billund had time to collect the most diverse, colourful scrap materials, and create something together with the help of hot glue guns and scissors, eventually completing the 3D box maps. Contrary to last week, when they were new to the activity and the scrap materials, we could see how the children were this time: more confident during the making phase, already knowing what they were supposed to do and where to go to chose their items and materials. In fact, kids, in the same way as adults, need time to get accustomed to new spaces and situations. They need to feel secure and gain trust in order to dwell in the environment and it is only when they reach the point where they allow themselves to move freely around, that they are independent from the adults and led by their creative inspirations. The maps ended up portraying depictions of continents, volcanoes, amusement parks, jumping mattress and planes ready for landing.
I was particularly moved by the feedback session with the children. One fundamental part of Culture Shift’s methodology, is the child-led approach. At the end of every workshop, the participants are invited to give their opinions about the day, and to say if they liked the activity and what could be improved next time. This feedback is fundamental in shaping the form and the content of the coming workshops, drawing on the kids’ needs and interests. Flexibility and aperture, and the focus on the process more than the final product, are in my opinion what makes Culture Shift approach very relevant and effective in the success of the Belong project.
Really intimate and deep reflections came out from the feedback session: the kids were asked to think about three words to describe the day. I would like to close this post with some of those words, which adults sometimes tend to forget or take for granted: teamwork- creativity- making friends - fun - compromise- making big products out of small things.