CMU Project Rwanda


RECORD Plans/ What Actually Happened by cmuprojectrwanda
May 27, 2010, 9:05 am
Filed under: Planning

As we expected, our lesson plans had to be modified from what we had originally planned. Our overall theme of teaching lessons through “fables” went out the window-but this was perhaps for the best. Instead of teaching the students lessons, we actually learned quite a bit from them by allowing them to freestyle. Their values and beliefs came through their performances. Below, on behalf of the RECORD team, I have outlined our lesson plans prior to arriving in Rwanda and then what we actually did each day.

Day 1– Describe the art of conveying a message without words

*Shows that we can all work together regardless of what languages we speak, body language is an equally effective means of communication

-Facial exercises to express emotions–>happy, sad, upset, surprised, etc.

-Action–> movements with purpose-running, jumping,hugging, dancing, walking, crawling, crying

-Have them act out a popular folktale -Break into groups < 3 students

-Have the students act out the folktale without words, must be < 5 mins.

-Students will share their performance with the class

-Show them an example done by Ariel, Urna, Waleed

Actual Day 1– The same with the exception of the folktale and performances

-Explained the importance of non-verbal communication/how communication is more than just words

-Icebreaker: Simon Says (losing students had to introduce themselves prior to sitting out)

-Students took pictures of their emotions and gestures

-Students recorded their actions

-Ariel and Waleed performed a skit as Urna had the children guess our emotions and actions

*The children were very engaged. They did in fact understand the power of emotions/gestures/body language.

Day 2– Acting with words and actions

-The students will be more comfortable at this point and will find this much easier

-Share with them another folktale

-Urna and I will have acted it out and will show them our video performance of the folktale

-Have the students split up into groups once again, different groups from before and act out this folktale WITH WORDS

-Must be <5 mins.

-Students will share their performances with the class

Actual Day 2– Acting with words and actions. Objective: Brainstorming

-Asked the students what they learned yesterday and its significance

-Icebreaker: Round 1: In a circle, had the students say their names and do an action. Round 2: Had the students say their names, do an action, and had the entire class repeat the action

– Had the students split into groups of 3. Gave them scenarios and 20 minutes to come up with a skit.

– Had each group record and  perform skits.  Voted for the best- Decisions were difficult because the performances were great!

*Scenarios: Lost foreigner in need of direction, Teacher catches students cheating, Best friend moves out of town while new student looks for a friend, Trying to convince parents to buy a new game/ball, Wearing mother’s favorite necklace to school and losing it, Thinking birthday has been forgotten but a surprise party is thrown, Huge examination and trying to avoid going to school by feigning sickness

Day 3– Farm Animals!

-Show them the different sounds animals make

-The different actions typical of each animal

-Have them make masks to represent their different animals

-Read folktale, show video performance done by us

-Have the students perform (<5 mins)

-Students will share their performances

Actual Day 3– Farm Animals Mask-Making

-Asked the students what we had done the day before

-Icebreaker: Round 1: In a circle, students said their names and made an animal sound. Class had to guess the animal. Round 2: Students made the animal sound and performed the action of the animal.

-Asked students to yell out some animals typical of Rwanda

-Asked students what masks were/what they were used for

-Showed the students the masks we made the day prior and we had them guess the names of each of the animals. The students were split into animal groups (3-4 students per group). We had monkeys, cats, dogs, elephants, rabbits, and lions.

-Mask-making took longer than we expected. Materials were distributed and students spent the remainder of the class making their masks for tomorrow’s performances

Day 4– Show with Props and Scripts

-Explain the importance of props/scripts in performing– when and why they are used

-Read folktale, show video performance done by us

-Allow the students to create props of their choice

-Have the students write scripts for their shows

-Split up into groups, different groups from before and create performance

-Students will share their performances

Actual Day 4– Farm Animal Skits-Personality Malfunctions

-Students were split back into their animal groups

-Students were instructed to record and perform skits that exhibited actions characteristic of each animal. In each group, one of the animals had a “personality malfunction” and did things that were not typical of that animal (i.e. a cat that loved water).

*The skits were great! The one that stood out to us most was the one in which there were cats eating avocados and drinking milk and one of the cats refused to do so. (We didn’t even know that cats loved avocados!)

-We spent the last ten minutes telling the students about the finale and asking them to volunteer some of their masks to be exhibited

Day 5– Finale

-Each team: Scratch, Tam Tam, and Record exhibited the work they had done over the course of the week

-Live performances and video compilations

-Gifts were presented to the headmistress for the school: a signed card, art supplies, soccer balls, speakers, English books

-Students signed our Project Rwanda cloth and were given candy

-Lots of photo-taking

~Ariel Solomon (RECORD team)

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