During a workshop at AMQF: Children and educators explore values through stories
Ramallah (A.M. Qattan Foundation):
The Educational Research and Development Programme/A.M. Qattan Foundation organised a workshop for fifty children aged between 6-11 years old in coordination with Sareyyet Ramallah – First Ramallah Group (FRG), led by early childhood educators and researchers from the Foundation.
The workshop was based on the theme of the universe as a natural place of living; living which includes basic needs such as home, housing, friendship and a sense of self. These concepts were embodied in multiple forms of expression including the formation of places, designing houses, cutting and colouring paper animals and making puppets as characters.
The workshop began with the children watching the animation film “The Giant’s Box” which revolves around the theme of “I want a suitable home for my pet.” Inspired by the idea of the film, children made up their story and divided into four groups. The first group shaped the forest as a place suitable for a living using drawing, available materials and making sounds as a symphony. The second group represented the animals through drawing, cutting paper, colouring and movement which embodied a dance for a living.
The third group designed houses suitable for living and include the concept of home; which house is suitable for living and housing? Houses were designed using carton, stick and colours. The fourth group formed human characters fit for friendship and neighbourliness from the perspective of neighbouring animals. Children adopted the perspective of the animal that will live with the characters as a friend, through a learning technique unique in vision, thought and implementation. Human characters were made as puppets using dough.
The four groups collaborated to create a whole world; the world as a place, the world as a home, the world as a neighbourhood, a world that encompasses friendship, neighbouring and living. Children formed the world through reshaping the story, the story was formed by the work of all groups and their creations, leading to the conclusion that “we succeed when we work together.”
One of the children said, “This is a door to the cave. It opens when you tell it words coming from the heart… If you are honest, the cave opens.” This is the same idea expressed by the educators when they volunteered to work with the children at the A.M. Qattan Foundation to apply the methodologies they learned and practised at the Foundation within the Early Childhood Professional Development Programme. The educators said that this workshop is an expression of their loyalty to the Foundation which provided them with this experience and an expression of their faith in the role of educators in social development through working with children.