Place Project 2010

Here are two more entries in the continuing examination of place at the preschool. Children come to the studio in groups, and we talk about how we will be leaving this place, and it won't be where we go to school any more. I ask the children what they would like to remember about this place, if they have a favorite place or thing here. Dahlia (3), drew her favorite place, "The forest, the pavilion, and everything."
Later we went outside so she could take a photograph of it.
Henry (5), drew several things. This picture shows one of his favorite things to do at school, the springtime activity of looking for bugs under rocks, and putting them in a bug box. We borrowed a bug box from the Rainbow room for Henry to photograph after drawing.

Henry 'A bug box, a rock and a spider'.

I have never tried having the children draw to plan their photographs before. It does seem to work like other types of plans we ask the children to draw, by slowing down their thinking and helping them anticipate problems. Like how to get the pavilion, the forest, and everything, in the picture!
This idea of drawing before photographing was inspired by a post on Urban Preschool (, in which a teacher helped make a life-size version of a child's drawing to photograph. What a brilliant idea! After seeing that last year, I began to think about ways that photography could be de- and re-constructed, to help children realize its affordances and limitations, so that photography might emerge as a language for some children.


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