The 11 and 12-year-olds in my tuition class were given 6mins to write down their names and decorate them using whatever they can find in their pencil cases. While beautifying their names they were to come up with 3 personal traits which they think they have and wish to be known for.
The time for this activity was kept short to prevent overthinking, sharing of ideas and making comparisons.
Being helpful & kind, intelligent,
elegant and a good team player were some of the qualities these youngsters wanted to be known for. And having a sense of humour and respecting others were mentioned as well.
“Why do u need others to know you are intelligent?” I asked the girl whose spectacles seemed to occupy all of her face.
“Because I want people to know I will still do the right thing even when no one’s watching,” the 11-year-old replied softly.
A recurring motif that appeared in their 6mins output came from nature. Floating clouds, mountain peaks, planets and animals appeared abundantly around and on the letters that formed their names.
One boy turned the letters of his name into a blue print for a future park he would like to build, complete with security features and facilities to make the visit a good one. And the traits he would like to be known for are bravery, boldness and kindness.
When I gave this same boy an old calendar card last year because he likes elephants, he pointed out to me that his birthday falls on International Vegetarian Day.
Perhaps the path to peace is to appreciate the perspectives of children. And when they place nature and animals alongside their names, they’re also carrying aspirations of healing & hope for all that’s been broken in this world.