Tapestry of Faith: Families: A Jr. High School Youth Program that Explores the Diversity, Commonality, and Meaning of Families

Activity 2: Creating The Photo-documentary Display

Part of Families

Activity time: 40 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Prints of photographs taken during the last session
  • Materials to support the final display, including photo-mounting materials, tape, glue, colored paper, stand-alone easels as needed, and other materials appropriate to the type of display you are creating and the display space you have available
  • Materials from previous sessions that might be used in the display
  • Writings produced by participants during the program, including chalice lighting writings, prayers, writing about photography, and notes recorded on newsprint during program sessions

Preparation for Activity

  • Check on all details for this session.
  • With your co-leader(s), divide up responsibility for supporting youth and for overseeing the opening, including:
    • Recheck all logistics about the display and the opening with congregation liaisons
    • Advertise the opening in congregation venues, including monthly newsletters, mailings to families, and website and/or e-mail communication
    • Follow up with youth who may need assistance, prior to this session, with preparing the materials for the display
    • Prepare materials generated during the sessions that might be useful in the display; this task might include typing poems or prayers written by youth, and the like
    • Ensure that all congregants who are directly involved with the project, in any form, are personally invited to the opening
    • Arrange food for the opening

Description of Activity

Invite participants to first create a plan for the photo-documentary display and then build the display itself.

Plan the Display

There are a couple of ways to start this process. One method is to ask participants to informally arrange around the room all the items-photographs, writing, artifacts, and so on-that they plan to contribute to the larger display. Be sure to include participants' work that you collected during the sessions as well. When the materials are arranged, have the entire group take a few moments to look at the pieces that need to be integrated into the final display. Then gather again as a group to proceed to put the pieces together.

The second method is to first create a full plan of action for building the display, and then share materials. To plan the display, invite participants to consider the following questions. List responses on newsprint as you see fit.

  • What do we want people to learn from seeing the display?
  • What story do we want to collectively tell through our project?
  • How can we make sure the display reflects our values and thinking about families?
  • What are our priorities? Is there a sequence in which to display the materials? Will a sequence work?
  • How can we make the display accessible to all who view it?
  • How can this display engage or involve the congregation? Are there methods through which congregants can "write back" to the display as a whole?
  • What does this display have to do with our Unitarian Universalist faith? Can we make that evident in the display?
  • How will we, as the creators, represent ourselves? What photos and written work should we display?
  • What steps can we take now to prepare the materials for display? Decide the following:
    • Sequence of materials: will we emphasize any particular theme(s)?
    • Editing tasks: does any written material need editing before we assemble the display?
    • Organization: what are the aesthetic and practical logistics of readying the display?
    • Delegating tasks: who will work on what during this session?

Build the Display

Once your group has developed a plan, engage it in creating the display. About ten minutes before the close of the session, gather the group. Reflect on what the youth have accomplished and what still needs to be completed. If necessary, arrange for more time to finish the display. Be sure to actively engage participants in this process. This is their creation and their display. Schedule time to do all the final arrangements of the display. Remind participants about the logistics of advertising, setting up, and attending the opening. Be sure to have a point-person for each detail.

Invite participants to comment on any aspect of the session's work and to ask questions. Arrange additional display set-up time as needed.

Including All Participants

To help keep the auditory and visual learners organized, provide-both verbally and written on newsprint-the steps that are necessary to build the display.