| Jan 10, 2022
Healthy and Happy during Puberty
In the autumn semester of 2021, the TeenStrong project organized two sessions of self-portrait therapy with 5th graders at two partner migrant schools in Minhang District. This activity was designed to learn the students’ thoughts and feelings through self-portraits named “My ... and me”. This theme allowed the students to describe themselves and their connections with the world.
Some students drew people around them, like their parents, good friends, and teachers; some drew things like books, toys, and pets; some chose more grand and abstract concepts which include their hometowns and their futures.
The students had a sharing and group discussion when they finished their drawings, which made them know each other better. Using pieces of pictures, students talk to others about some feelings or topics they normally would not like to share. The most amazing part was students introduced their individual pictures to the whole class. Some students were passionate, some students were shy and their stories were touching. A student deeply missed his hometown since he has not been back for nearly three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic; several students said they wanted to be doctors in the future. This pandemic brought lots of changes to students’ lives. Volunteer facilitators also encouraged some students who were not confident about the future.
Children form their own images and their personalities during puberty. We brought an active attitude to the students through self-portrait and effective communication. Finally, we presented a cartoon book named “Half Hour Cartoon Puberty”. We hope that they could further learn more about puberty through this book.
While the 5th graders were participating in the self-portrait activity, the 3rd graders watched the puberty class video. After the class, every 3rd grader received a beautiful notebook to write down their happiness and sadness in the special stage of their lives.