Sunday, August 4, 2019

Doors In Our Lives #exploringidentity

exploring identity, identity, education, jen vincent, teaching

Last week I shared how I'll be using Jason Mamoa's short film Canvas of My Life to introduce identity webs to my students with Sara Ahmed's lesson from Being The Change. I'm also going to use the film to introduce the idea of symbolism and then segue into think about people, places, and experiences that have shaped us. I'm planning to do picture book book-a-day and have picked out books with doors in them so we can discuss what doors represent and then share doors that have been significant in our lives. 

bookaday, picture books, mentor texts, identity, doors, books, jen vincent
Thank You, Omu!
Doors In The Air
Wherever You Go
Knock Knock
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns
*not pictured: Journey
Why doors exactly? 

Because of this guy: Alan Benchoam.
jen vincent, doors, doors of the world, alan benchoam
Here I am with Alan Benchoam in his gallery in Guatemala.

When I was in Guatemala in June, I met a photographer named Alan Benchoam who takes photos of doors. You can find more information about him at Doors of The World. He also creates collages with all the doors and as I was looking at his art, I realized how amazing doors are. There are doors we go through, doors that open, doors that close, doors that take us to different places. Doors hold a lot of meaning. I love the symbolism but also that doors are a universal experience.

The picture books I shared above all have doors in them, whether the door is a focus of the book or just embedded in the story at some point. My goal is to read the books to give students an opportunity to think of doors in different ways as they choose a door they would like to write about. Students will be asked to take a picture of a door of their choice and to write about it. Then we'll share the photos they took and their writing. I'd love to display these but haven't worked through the details of what this would look like. Maybe I'll get the kids' input and go from there!

Of course, I believe in writing along with the students so when I was in Guatemala and had this idea of taking pictures of doors and writing about them, I snapped pictures of two doors that meant a lot to me while I was there. Being a writer myself is imperative as a teacher of writing but sharing myself is equally as important. I'll share both of these pictures, talk through my ideas, and model writing about a door that is significant to me. (I'll be sure to share my writing and how this goes with students!)

jen vincent, door, guatemala
While I was in Guatemala, I stayed with my cousin Andrea and her family and this is the door to their house. It looks like a simple brown door but when I look at it, I feel the love that welcomed me on the other side of it. I think of her, her husband, and her three kids. I think of the stories we shared and the memories we made while I was there. We played hide and seek and Chinese jump rope, they were fascinated by my bedtime routine, and they ordered a vegan pineapple upside down cake for my birthday celebration are some of my favorites.
k'ashem, guatemala, jen vincent, adventure
This is the door to K'Ashem, my cousin Edgar's adventure tourism agency in Guatemala. When I look at this door, I feel excitement. Going on an excursion with him was the highlight of my trip to Guatemala. I loved getting to see him in his element and to experience Guatemala with him. I'm such an outdoorsy, adventurous person and so is he so when I look at this door, I think of him and am reminded to live life to the fullest.

My goal is to take time for students to write about something in their life and share it as we get to know each other but then work on a shared art project based of off the Jason Mamoa video...I promise I'll share more about that next!

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