South Hebron Hills, Thu 29.11.12, Morning
Purpose of the shift:
Activity #3 for this year in the Hashem el-Daraj preschool, together with Huda.
Huda, Amna (Huda’s assistant), and 35 children were present today.
When we arrived, the older children (about 20) sat around the tables in the main classroom. The younger children were in the second classroom with Amna. As usual, the children were happy to see us and each one wanted to shake our hands. It is heartwarming to see the relationship that has developed between us and the children as a result of our continuing visits.
Topic of the activity
Olive harvest. We came with a floor mat that Mohammed had purchased with the intention of using it for a reading corner. It is hard for 20 children to pay attention to the reading of a story if they sit around tables and are some distance from the reader of the story. We, Huda, and the children sat on the mat. Huda read a story about an olive harvest. She really read the story instead of telling it. The children were fascinated and bent forward in order to see the pictures. Reading a story at the beginning of an art activity is now part of the routine and it seems to be successful.
After reading the story, Huda conducted a discussion about olive trees and the harvest. We passed around different olive products – olives that just had been picked, olive tree branches, olive oil, and green and black olives.
The activity was to paste parts of an olive tree onto a drawing of an olive tree – olives, leaves, branches, earth, sand, colorful decorations. The drawing was printed on sheets of paper. Huda prepared beforehand the parts to be glued. We brought the rest of the materials. The earth and sand was collected from the grounds of the preschool. The activity proceeded in stages (as described in the instruction form which is written in Hebrew and Arabic – it is attached). The children no longer hesitate to use their fingers to paste and some of the children were enthusiastic and created impressive pictures.
At the conclusion of the activity, we hung the pictures on a string – and then discovered there was a problem in how to hang the pictures in the room – a problem we will have to solve in the near future. For the time being, we hung them across coat hooks.
At the meeting, we talked about the need for continuity of the activities, that is, the need to continue to read the same story to smaller groups of children. Similarly, we talked about the need to prepare the children for the next activity – “Yael’s house” – and on the need to prepare a model. We actively demonstrated the reading and the illustrations of the story “The house of Yael”.