Possible Futures, Plausible Pasts

What Is That? I don't look like that! I like the way you look your Liverpool kit. I'm going to be a superhero when I grow up, and fly around rescuing people. Year 2 had a cracking time today playing with the digi blues. We set them the challenge of thinking about what they would like to be when they grow up, and then miming or posing in action positions from their future jobs. The poses were then framed and captured by their friends, and after docking with the docking station were exported as jpeg files to personal folders on their home drive spaces.

Once we had saved the photos, the children were shown how to open them in photofiltre, and then the fun began. We discussed the tools we had been exploring over the last few weeks and which we might choose and use to help dress up our fantasy posed portraits, in the uniforms, costumes or work clothes we would be wearing in the jobs we had chosen to do in the future. Using the spray can tool and altering the nozzle size, the students were able to use the image of themselves to trace and place items of clothing, on their own body shapes. They were also able to think about how they would like to wear things like their hair, whether they thought they would have moustaches or beards and so on. Using cascade saving there is also the possibility of thinking about what they might look like with or without these features and so on. As you can probably imagine to a seven year old adding a moustache raised a few giggles. But one of things that really wowed them, was in posing for the shot, they were able to add things like paint brushes and easels to artists, Insert footballs under their arms or at their feet if they were footballers, or even add a cat to be treated in their arms if a vet.

Having dressed themselves up, they needed to touch up the backgrounds. My favourites today were one student who, having dressed himself as a footballer, painted in the grass, crowd, and a goal, framing himself in the structure, while a second, who said he would like to be a fighter pilot, painted in the cockpit of an aircraft around the lower part of his body, before adding his helmet and flight suit. Then there was our superhero, who having laid out on the ground arms outstretched in the classic flying position, for digital capture, spent a considerable time dressing himself in a suitable attire. It was not so much the image outcomes as the discussion that this task inspired, that I found exciting to be part of, and the thought process that went with imaginatively engaging with their possible futures, and what the tools provided allowed in enabling this process.

Having seen how the students engaged with this activity, I am also now quite excited about how they might react to future use of this process. Some of the students I worked with this morning will be in my class next year, and I am thinking about using a similar process to help them empathise with life in the past. Our first topic in the Autumn Term is on Life in Tudor Times. It might be interesting to use this as an outcome activity having explored some of the royal portraits, and try to recreate the images or scenes, placing themselves posed and central to photographs which can then be edited to include, contemporary dress and cosmetic touches, or having looked at and discussed tudor pastimes and other aspects of tudor life, having the chldren create pastiche type images, where they frame themselves acting out tudor activities, recreating background scenes around them, and using themselves as manikins to dress in traditional clothes. These images could then be used in digital learning stories, or uploaded to support blog entries photostories or podcasts, drawing on tasks developed in the literacy hour.

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