Friday, June 16, 2006

'Taste Our Lives' Zine & Party

At Burbank, Ms. Boggess' 7th grade Peer Resource group celebrated a very exciting project. With this class, we used Photovoice, a technique in which participants take photographs of their communities and use them to stimulate dialogue and a process of social change. The students created a zine called Taste Our Lives to present their work.

First, Burbank students took pictures of foods they eat in order to analyze their nutrition habits. In our first round of pictures, many took pictures of bags of hot chips from the store, or sodas from fast food restaurants. In the second round of pictures, they chose to focus on cultural or family foods, and why those "real" foods, made from whole ingredients and family recipes, are important to them. Students interviewed family members as they photographed what took place in the kitchen. At each step of the project, students took pictures, discussed them, wrote about them, and made sense of them.

Early in the project, the class did nutrition education activities, like the time we tested sugar content of different drinks. These same students are expert gardeners, who have cared for the garden since 6th grade.

As the students turned their photos and interviews into Photovoice essays, they decided to create a zine and invite the people they interviewed to celebrate, cook and eat all together. Tuesday night was the big event! Several "stars" of the zine arrived to celebrate with us. We harvested in the garden together, cooked delicious stir fry, enjoyed a relaxing meal, and made smoothies for dessert! Check back in a few days to see some Photovoice stories from the zine.