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5 photos: A savoring task with student projects.
dIn the book Activities for Teaching Positive Psychology, Jamie L. Kurtz and Sonja Lyubomirsky suggest a simple activity to encourage savoring. Students take five photos of important things in their lives. Then they share them with classmates, explaining each picture and why it is important. The small number (5) is important. They really are supposed to take 5 pictures -- not 200 and then edit. Savoring isn't supposed to be a burden.
This semester, I am going to try a few variations on this ranging from more formal presentations (students make PowerPoint presentations based on their photos) to "instant activities" (show pictures from the already have in their cell phones or on facebook).
I have made 3 versions of the activity tasksheet:
• One version is sort of an instant activity. They talk about good things during the vacation. If anyone doesn't have a phone/pictures or doesn't want to show them, I give them a card that shows a blank phone and asks they to describe the scene. You can download that HERE.
• The next version asks them to bring or take photos of 5 important things. They do this during the next class.
• The final version has them make a PowerPoint slideshow of the 5 important things.
To encourage more language practice, I encourage partners to ask WH-questions to go deeper into what the speakers say. This is called an "Active Constructive" response which helps the speaker re-experience the positive emotion/experience.
I'll try to post some of the student projects -- the PowerPoints-- here as I get them.
In the meantime, here's my 5 pictures which I'll use as a sample.