South Hebron Hills
Musical activity in the Hashem el Daraj kindergarten, with Huda: Expressing feelings with music
We began at the Umm el-Kheir kindergarten, since we hope to expand our activities to additional kindergartens in the area. There are now three kindergarten teachers, two of whom we already know (Dalal, Huda’s sister, and another whose name I forgot), and a new one. An additional teacher, Na’ama, whom we don’t know, isn’t there. This year the kindergarten has 40 children. In previous years there were few children, but since transportation has been available many have registered. We explained the activity to Dalal, left some materials (crayons, coloring books), exchanged phone numbers and arranged for the next activity in Umm el-Hir to be in two or three weeks.
Hashem el- Daraj: 25 children are present. When we arrive, Huda is reading from a book with pictures of animals, and the children participate. We brought various percussion instruments – bells, maraca, slit box, tambour, triangles, etc. We handed out the instruments and rotated them among the children so all could try them.
We sang a song about the wind and asked them to play various “melodies,” according to how strongly the wind blew. The song opened with a breeze playing over the waves of the sea, becomin stormy and then subsiding. Pairs of children played instruments to accompany the music, loudly and softly, according to the song. And, in particular, we achieved (without shouting) complete silence, so it was possible to hear the soft sounds! The hardest task was to keep Amana (Huda’s assistant) from yelling at the children to…be quiet.
We played the game of the wind and the sheet, accompanied by the song: the children hold the sheet and shake it strongly or weakly, according to the words of the song. Later we place a ball on the sheet, and their task is to keep it from rolling off; and then a little boy instead of the ball. This game always elicits much laughter and enthusiasm.
At the conclusion the children sat again and Huda summed up the activity.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any photographs.
We talked over tea and cookies and discussed future activities. We brought instructions and materials for follow-up activities – making hats from newspaper. We’ll see whether they’ll do it on their own. We taught Huala (the new young assistant) how to make them. We agreed on the next activity – making a caterpillar out of styrofoam balls. Huda will continue with the follow-up activity – making butterflies. We left feeling that our working together contributes to improving the content and the atmosphere of the kindergarten’s activities.