South Hebron Hills, Thu 3.1.13, Morning

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Judy A. and Mira B. (reporting), Mohamed (driver and participant)


Purpose of the shift: Activity #4 for this year in the Hashem el-Daraj preschool, together with Huda.


Topic of activity: My house

When we arrived, the children were already seated in a semi-circle, either on chairs or on the floor mat, listening to Huda read a story. During the workshop conducted with Huda and the preschool teachers from Um el-Khir, Souha suggested that the classroom space be divided into areas dedicated to specific topics, such as reading, artwork, etc. The children would begin and end their day at the preschool sitting in a semi-circle around Huda as she did today.


The activity began with Huda reading “Yael’s House” – in Arabic it is called “Miis House”.  The plot of the story was changed somewhat (for example, there are no “kibbutz members”).  The children were enthralled!  Afterwards, as a result of preparations at our previous meeting, children were chosen to act out the story.  Although Huda gave some direction, the ‘actors’ really entered into the spirit of the story.  In the future, we should consider bringing some costumes for the children to use as they act out stories.


After the play ended, Amna, Huda’s assistant, took the younger children to the other classroom.  The older children sat around the tables.  The activity included making houses and background by pasting geometrical forms onto construction paper.  Huda had cut out the forms prior to the activity.  Some of the children worked beautifully, with much enthusiasm.  Some are still somewhat apathetic and needed to be prodded and helped.  After the children finished pasting the forms, they decorated the pictures using colored pencils and markers.  We then hung (stuck) the pictures on the wall designated as the artwork area (we hope that next time we will be able to organize a way to hang the pictures there more simply and effectively).  The children seemed very pleased and proud with their artwork.  Some of them called us or pulled us over to admire their work.


Pictures of the activity (Judy – Gan Huda art activity January3rd, 2013


“Staff” meeting: We discussed the activity as we drank tea and ate cookies that we had brought.  We encouraged Huda to involve the childrens' mothers in problems arising at the preschool -- as for instance, how to hang the heating elements [provided by Hamed] on the walls of the classrooms.  It seems to us that it is not our responsibility to solve these types of problems.  We discussed the next activity – teaching children’s songs in Arabic and the music activity after the winter break. 

We left feeling pleased with the successful activity.