While Mike has introduced all of the projects, I would like to talk a little more about the Book and Blog Projects. Our idea with the Book Project was for the students at Etoile de Mer to take ownership of their stories by writing them down in a directed way. Each class we are introducing some new vocab in a pseudo English lesson and then we ask the students to incorporate these new words into their page of the book. We started with simple prompts to draw out the easy biographical info from each student and we have more creative prompts in the weeks to come that will allow the kids to be a little more creative with their words and hopefully give them the words necessary to express themselves in English.
The cover of each book will have a head shot of the student, and it is great how excited the students got by just showing them the pictures we took of them. We have been encouraging the students to draw pictures to go along with their words and I have to say that we have some emerging artists in our midst. The kids seem to love writing and drawing and they take their time to make sure it is all perfect and looks good.
At Fatima, we are starting a little more high tech version of the Book Project. We thought we could make the best of our time by combining English and IT lessons into one project so we are starting a Blog for the two classes. The hope is to start something sustainable for the students: a place where they can post stories and pictures that are important to them. We will have topics for posts and in each class we will be explaining the inner workings of a Blog like posting, editing, uploading pictures and surfing the internet. At it’s core, the Blog is all about the kids and we want the kids to talk about whatever it is they want.
The goal is for the students to have something at the end of our time with them that they can hold in their hands or see on the internet and know that they made it. Giving these kids a chance to talk about themselves is our small way of showing them that we care about who they are and their story.