Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bible stories with photos

Do you realize you can now actually google "Emerging Kids" and this blog shows up! For most of the life of this blog, we've been VERY hard to find!

Someone googled something like "Bible stories in photographs" I once had a book like that: a Christmas story book with photos from a movie with Zeph....something (he directed Romeo and Juliet, and I think the same girl was in both movies.) Just scripture and photos. Very thin, large pages, paperback. A little long for really little ones but the photos are big. It's nice.

I've also used library books with photos from the Middle East and Israel, shepherds, dessert, Jerusalem, sheep, wine, wells, clay jars, homes, tents, flocks . . . There are some children's Bible handbooks with photos, too.

Now, of course, google images abound if you can legally copy them for educational purposes. You have your laptops and power point. I lack such technical expertise.

But let's go back to concrete. Photo type images for sacred stories - here's a possibility. (Assuming you can use the images legally). Find a photo of someone in Middle Eastern dress who fits your character. An old man, a young man, a woman, a boy, a girl. Find images of the nouns (or other photo-friendly parts of the story) - sheep, sparrow, grape vine, vineyard, wall, jar. taking a journey, tending sheep, drawing water. If you just use photos for the nouns you can set it up like a rebus story with big photo pictures or powerpoint.

If you use photos for actions or jobs make sure you space the photos through the story so that you have the same amount of talking for each visual image. That means enough time to take in the image and the words so you don't rush your young listeners, but not so much time that they get bored and you lose them. You'll have to practice it a bunch before you do it for the class which also gives you time to ponder the story, yourself.

Somebody, (Young Children in Worship, maybe?) uses figures without faces saying that in a variety of cultures this is a common tool for sacred storytelling. If you use faceless figures you don't dictate to the listener the figure's image, facial distinctions, or emotional responses. Faceless figures, faceless props give the listener more room to imagine and ponder. Sounds wierd but it's not.

So if you use something like Photoshop, take the picture, and remove or blur the face does that accomplish the same thing? I don't know. If you have the technical expertise it might be fun to try. I've worked successfully with faceless drawings (tracing, making small changes, erasing the face). Will a faceless photo hold the attention of a media immersed generation? Would using Powerpoint or laptop images this way bridge Low-tech and Media driven? I don't know. Might be worth a try.

"Faceless" isn't terrible. It really isn't. It's one of those things; you have to do it to understand it. Play with it and see what happens! Photos catch images of God's glorious handiwork. They catch detail, emotion, light, color. . . Faceless or detail-less images or props imply mystery - "there are details that we don't know about these people, about this place, about this story". There are things that only God knows . . . It may sound contradictory but the fact that both are true just makes God that much more amazing. . .

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