Thursday, August 25, 2011

Art Facilitation 02.7

This is a cropped example of the process of making the "family tree".
In order to protect the identity of the individual and their family I have cropped  the page.

My potato print family tree.

Who is my family?

This next exercise is not purely an art & craft exercise. I modified it from a genogram, which is usually used by doctors, social workers and counsellors, making it a fun exercise for them.

A genogram looks a bit like a family tree. I think the children understand this explanation better and so this is why I called it a family tree. Genograms are used to show familial patterns and trends of addictions (alcohol and drugs) and abusive relationships; as well as physical problems and illnesses such as heart, cancer, diabetes etc.

  • Through potato prints make a basic fun ‘family tree’ which will indicate the dynamics in a similar way that a genogram would.
  • To explore and indicate the family dynamics e.g. who they live with, who they like relating to, the feelings in the family and who is deceased. In this way they discover more about who they are. In the group they can develop an appreciation for each other through discussion.
  • The discussion facilitates appreciation and understanding of how they might be going through similar situations. In this way it develops a bond and support in the group.

I will explain step by step how I managed to involve the children in documenting their family system.

  1. Draw two horizontal lines across the page, dividing the page into three in this way making a three tiered ‘graph’ showing the family: (1) children: brothers, sisters and cousins; ( 2) parents: moms, dads and aunts and uncles; and (3) grandparents.
  2.  In the middle of tier (1) make a potato print symbolizing themselves.
  3. Then print all their brothers, sisters and cousins who might be living with them, in the same row.
  4. After that move to tier (2) showing mother/father/ aunt/ uncle with whom they live.
  5. Next show in tier (3) their grandparents.             
  6. Once this is done the first tier should be dry and they can add limbs and faces. In this way they can work their way back up the tiers doing the same for the rest of their extended family.
  7. I then asked them to draw a line from them to the person they enjoy talking to (there could be more than person). This is to help them identify for themselves who they most trust.
  8. Lastly I said they could indicate if someone had died in the family by putting a cross through them.

They can decorate the family drawing with glitter glue and foam shapes.
Informal discussion can evolve into sharing what they have in common with the other members of the group, e.g. what happens in the family, who looks after them, who has to look after themselves, who has experienced loss of a parent or grandparent.

Glitter glue and potatoes.

  • Paper, 
  • paint, 
  • potatoes, 
  • pencils
  • crayons, 
  • foamtastic shapes
  • glitter glue.


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