The activity was quite simple and was led by PSD Superintendent, JoAnn Sternke, who was inspired by her reading of the book: "One Word That Will Change Your Life" by Jon Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page. The premise is to choose one word that will become an action plan for your life, your school year. We discussed how mantras are good and resolutions can be powerful, but often people forget about them because they're too, complex. Choosing one word is empowering. Words have power.
We were asked to choose our word and then write it down. We then proceeded to march up on stage in the auditorium and group chant our words, summoning their power through speech, like some ancient tribal ceremony. My word is Envisioning. I think it summarizes many of the things I do as an educator, artist and also many of the things I'm working on in my own life. I decided to bring this activity to my art classes.
Students designed their word onto small, polaroid-sized sheets of paper. They were asked to visually represent their words through both the design, composition and imagery they chose to include. I told students they could choose a word to summarize where they are now in life, where they'd like to go or just a word that they really like. Being teen agers some of their words were a bit angst-y, while others were silly, but not all. Through the word activity I also got to know each student just a bit more. It was enjoyable to take a simple idea and help establish the culture of quiet thoughtfulness and reflection that I hope to instill in my art classes this year.
The images were all displayed as my bulletin board and I've seen many students stopping by the board and reading the words there. One word can change your life if you summon it's power.