On Thursday 5th February St James CE in Rusholme held an amazing and life enhancing exhibition ‘The Museum of Me’ .
I walked into the Hall and Year 5 Classroom to find the place filled with the children’s own objects – their personal archives and a whole array of journals, notebooks, interactive displays and artwork. The whole project had been part of a research project to find out how Year 5 and Year 6 children could develop their ideas about time and the way collections (in particular archaeology collections) are displayed and interpreted.
Two strands informed the work:
- Year 6 worked with Lead Educator Neil Green (see his blog entry) on the TSI: Time Scene Investigation strand, exploring stimuli for writing and encouraging research skills
- An arts-based project using the exhibition Lindow Man as a starting point. Working with two artists, Daksha Patel and Paul Pickford, the Year 5 children explored in depth notions of time and identity.
Making ‘The Museum of Me’ involved working with Leander Wolstenholme (Curator of Botany), Bryan Sitch (Curator of Archaeology) and Irit Narkiss (Conservator) at The Museum and developing ideas with the artists. This included making potions (Roman style!) with fresh herbs, designing and making pop up books and making clay plaques which kept the traces of each child’s special object.
The resulting show was a true ‘Festival of Learning’ and delighted the makers and audience alike. Parents and other classes in the school came along on Thursday to be shown around the exhibits by their children and colleagues. The material has been recorded as a complete photographic journal and this together with the rich selection of journals, labels and poetry will form a vitally important body of evidence to help our team at The Manchester Museum develop new ideas for the redisplay of our archaeology galleries.
Well done St James!
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