Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Songs & Sidewalk Chalk

Our class today went great. Maybe it was because they hadn't seen us for a few days and we were "cool" again, or maybe it was just because my lesson on the brain ROCKED! You have to really find what engages these kids and then roll with it. Apparently they found the brain very interesting. We used a book I brought to show them photos of an actual brain, a laminated photo of the four main lobes (occipital, parietal, frontal and temporal) that were colored yellow, blue, green and red. I taught them basic functions of each lobe and then we sang songs and did simple math as examples of the brain helping the body to move and work.
Thank heavens for Primary as a kid. Carlie and I taught our class "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree" complete with hand motions, then asked them which part of the brain was working. "The yellow part!" The temporal lobe, which is in charge of hearing, was 'the yellow part'. Simple ideas like this really work well and the kids seem so excited to answer and show us they understand. Here is a little recording~

videoAfter we taught them a song, they taught us one of theirs. They each have little notebooks with the lyrics of their songs in them, so one little girl came to the front and wrote down the lyrics for us to read. Even though we are all speaking English, it is sometimes dang hard to understand. Pronunciations are different and so is the emphasis on some word syllables. For the most part I think they understand us, but sometimes when we repeat what they say they laugh and I am sure it is because we say it so different. It's fun. The song they taught us was called "Great Change" and this is how it goes:

Great Change, since I was born
Great Change, since I was born
Great Change, since I was born
There has been great change since I was born.

The things I used to do, I do them no more
The things I used to do, I do them no more
The things I used to do, I do them no more
There has been great change since I was born.


video
Mostly I just love the 'D' for 'Th' and the open vowels. Sometimes in church I find myself actually turning my words to the members' pronunciations because the American vowels stick out so bad. It just makes sense to pronounce it the right way.....which in Africa is not my way. "When in Rome..."
After school, we had two hours of our own class and then it was off to the Teshi Orphanage. Yes, this is the same trip that one week ago was an absolute nightmare. I was nervous.....but we all made it on time, even early, and no harm done. The activity for the day was sidewalk chalk. We spent a good half hour dividing up all the humanitarian supplies we brought over from America, and deciding where they all should go. Among some of the toys were: handmade wooden cars, (one of the girls grandfather made them) fruit flavored bubbles, sidewalk chalk, and a soccer ball. Fun times. I got super dirty sitting on the ground but it's more fun when you see the kids eye-to-eye.

Little Regina was my buddy for the day.

We also brought dum-dums

We will surely get to our destination if we join hands.


Today was officially the first day I just felt exhausted, probably more inside than out. Everything here is just so in your face: the poverty, dirt, garbage, selling, faces, language, smells, everything third world. Still loving everything, but it can be very draining immersing oneself in a new culture. The people are so kind and the kids.....they are just beautiful, innocent kids the way they should be. Songs and sidewalk chalk work miracles with them!

5 comments:

  1. This is such a sweet tender post, Anne Marie. Did you notice that both you and Regina have purple on? Isn't it interesting how we seem to "fall back" on things we have learned at church? The very first song I taught the 6th and 7th graders in South San Francisco when I began teaching was "Oh, What Do You Do In The Summertime?" I didn't have any materials like books, sheet music, recordings or anything...so I had to improvise for awhile. Glad your lesson on the brain was a hit. I know your heart is full of many emotions. Drink it in.

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  2. Ditto from New Jersey--"drink it in!"

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  3. P.S. I love, love, love the dancing! It's like they can't keep it in their bodies. There's one girl on the far left who's really got moves, and there are two boys in the front and some in the very back who were really going during their song.

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  4. I noticed the same thing, Liz. I was watching their feet!

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  5. Sweet, sweet thoughts Anne Marie. I loved the "popcorn popping song" they sang.

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