Click on this link to see a small clip of Nawfal’s winning shot in our soccer match Soccer with Nawfal
Shakira’s Waka Waka was blaring through my headphones as I scanned the narrow road for students outside of the blue garage that held the Naw-N-Shaw Educational Centre. A stray dog padded across the road, briefly stopping to sniff a WholeNut Dairy Milk wrapper before scampering into the alleyway beside the snack shack. A Nisan van with the Milo advertisement flaking off of its side door along with the paint breezed by – still no kids. Finally after fifteen minutes I saw Nawfal walking with his usual gait: head cocked back, crazy and mischievous smile on his face, and a pop in his walk as if he were hopping over microscopic pebbles with each step. He gave me a casual head nod to acknowledge me. When he reached the door he said that the others were coming, but after ten minutes of hangman and small talk, he was still my only student. Unfortunately, my lesson plan for the day was contingent on all eight of my students attending class, so at 4:30 I decided to just kick around the soccer ball with Nawfal. This “kick around” soon escalated into a full out soccer match in the classroom with too many fouls to count, cheating, corner kicks, and sliding. I am ashamed to admit that I got nutmeged a few more times than I intended (I had planned to give him a two point lead). By the time I started sweating, I looked up at the scoreboard to see a six under his name and a bold zero under mine. Then it got serious.
Although I left Monday’s class nursing my wounds from a 7-5 loss to a twelve year old, I came back Wednesday with a renewed vigor. Nawfal wanted to finish the second half of our match, but all my students were there, so we picked up on the lesson plan I had prepared for Monday’s class. Soomayyah, from the ELI Corps, came to help me translate, which definitely helped with the students’ understanding of the elements of creative writing such as plot, setting, theme, symbols, protagonists, and antagonists. To assist their comprehension, I had the students act out “The Lion and the Mouse” short story and then identify each of the listed elements within the story. Although at first they were a bit reluctant to volunteer to be lions, mice, and hunters, by the time we began acting, they were fighting for roles, and rearranging each person’s character. Kabil did an excellent job as a Lion and Nawfal was a loyal mouse; better yet, Samil and Zafur correctly identified the elements in the story. After this acting session, we started the film, “Kung Fu Panda” which we are planning on finishing during Friday’s class. My hope is that after studying the aforementioned elements in the film, the students will be prepared to begin writing their own creative work. Check the blog in the upcoming weeks to see their short stories!