I recently showed my 8th graders a photography project by Susan Mullally entitled, “What I Keep”. This photo essay collection sparked a discussion about what we value most. I asked them all to bring in one thing that they would keep if they could only keep one thing. It could be symbolic, real, or a photo. I brought in a jar of sea glass that my gram and I had collected throughout my childhood. Inside is a card that reads:
This shell and sea glass collection is now yours. I treasure the memory of the happy days we spent together collecting them on the shore of Ship Ahoy beach.
We talked about the fact that it is not about the object, but the memories that were created around the object. Today they brought in their objects and I photographed them by the beloved “Winnie the Pooh” tree on our campus. I loved seeing what they brought in and hearing the stories that came with it. I also loved showing my students how one thing and one picture can tell a story without one word.