Hashem alDarej, South Hebron Hills, Thu 18.4.13, Morning
Purpose of the shift: Creative activity in the Hashem el Darag kindergarten.
Topic of the activity:“my home” – construction of a house from a milk box, glued on a cardboard base.
Forty children, widely varying in age, were present today. The intended activity was somewhat complicated consisting of several steps. Therefore, we brought coloring pages to keep the younger children busy in the other preschool room.
Story: We began as usual with a story relevant to the activity: Yael’s House in Arabic. Huda told the story and we tried out the idea of having the children act out the story making use of costumes. But – there was a lack of enthusiasm. Huda does not share with us her understanding that the children (and actually all of us) enjoy hearing again and again stories and songs they love. It seems that Huda was telling the story without any desire to do so and the children didn’t feel free to act out the story. More than that, Huda told us that the children who ‘prepared’ the the ‘play’ didn’t come to school today. It seems that there is some sort of cultural divide here. Something that is so clear to us is not clear to Huda, what excites us is a source of stress for Huda. This is another topic that will be worthwhile to try to understand in the future.
Huda explained the topic of the activity, and tried to show its results. It would have been good if she had prepared an example before the activity.
Activity: The younger children went into the other preschool room accompanied by Amna, the preschool assistant. We gave each of the children who remained a piece of cardboard and a milk carton cut in half (done by Huda before the activity began, using the milk cartons we brought with us on the previous visit).
1. The first part of the activity was to glue the milk carton to the cardboard base by using strips of paper covered with glue.
2. We put construction paper doors, windows, and human figures on the tables. These had been cutout by Huda from colored construction paper that we brought on our previous visit. The children pasted – some with attention to detail and some without paying attention to what they were doing.
3. We put colored pastel on each table and the children colored (carefully) the houses. It was somewhat difficult because of the glue.
4. We gave each child a paper plate and sent them into the school yard to collect sand. The sand was pasted to the cardboard base of the house and the area that remained was painted, glitter was sprinkled on and finally small pompoms were glued on the roof.
5. At the end, a problem arose….where to place the children’s work. To send them home with the children was a problem…. because the glue needed to dry. We had asked our Palestinian colleagues to provide two tables for the preschool entrance that would allow for a continuing display of the children’s art activities. In the meantime, there are no large tables. It seems to us that it will be complicated to bring them from Israel. So we collected all the small tables from the old preschool and put the work on them – after Huda wrote the names of the children on their ‘houses’. We need regular sized tables not low tables.
6. Lastly, the trash was collected. This is already part of the regular routine – a success that we can attribute to ourselves.
7. After the children left for home, we helped to clean the tables – because this is a very messy activity. We need to provide שעווניותfor the tables.
Pictures of the activity (Mira – Gan Huda art activity April 18th, 2013
We enjoyed Amna’s sweet tea, Huda’s pita (need time we will bring lebana - soft white goat cheese), and cookies that we provided. We discussed the program for next time – with Hanady, a singer, who will teach children’s songs in Arabic. We also discussed the possibility to join the “Sea Days” that is organized by the women of Machsom Watch. And we simply chatted about this and that. Huda and Amna complained about the lack of cleaning materials. At last, there are toilets, and also water and electricity, but UNWRA who financed the building of the preschool does not finance the daily running of the preschool. We pay the salaries and other expenses from money we have managed to recruit from several funding agencies. Next time we will bring cleaning materials and also toilet paper which is also lacking.