Manikin Friends

In Memories, Dreams and Reflections by Carl Jung, Jung recalls carving a little manikin, about two inches long, with frock and coat, top hat and shining black boots. He coloured him black with ink, sawed him off the ruler and put him in a pencil case, where he made him a little bed. He even made a coat for him out of a bit of wool.

When I found tiny moulded figures in a charity store I thought of Jung and his pencil case. I gave each child a tiny figure and told them to keep it in their pencil case. They gave their figures a name and wrote profiles that included information about address, likes, dislikes, ten things they couldn't live without, hobbies and so on.

Grade 2 students at Reservoir East really took to this exercies and Carol Humphries, their class teacher, took digital photographs of each child with their tiny manikins.

I wonder whether, like Jung, they will remember doing this when they are long married and have children of their own. I like to think so.

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Hand Puppets and Manikin Friends

At every school I visited this year the children loved making finger puppets.

Students simply traced around their hand and then created small characters on each finger. As they drew I talked to them about characters having different moods and gave suggestions about who the people might be - members of a gang, friends who had gathered in a secret cubby place, murky underworld figures, gangsters, girls who just wanted to have fun.

We traced both hands and had different figures on each and then, in the palms of the hand they drew where all the action was taking place. For some it was all happening in the park, while others had miniature crime cities.

My Year 7 students used this activity as a kick start to writing radio scripts while Grade 2 students wrote stories about the little girl/boy who was happy, sad or angry.

Then, when I finished working at Keon Park Primary School the kids drew around their hands again and on each finger they wrote what they had learned from the writing program. I now have a precious collection of hand-prints which are a testimony to the power of the hand.

As my Year 12 students prepared for their exam I told them to draw hands in their script books and write the five main points that they needed to make and write the introduction on the palm.

Yes! I am infatuated with hands!

Do something with your hands today!