Day of Fun and Education in English Language in Hebron, Palestine Today at the Excellence Center the students were given a fun and active lesson in English learning. Two international volunteers stepped in to lead this hour of structured fun time. The students were clearly happy to work with our volunteers, they jumped up and down and exclaimed in excitement when the volunteers entered the room. Some students even rushed forward to hug our volunteers. This hour is important for the students because it provides them an opportunity to play and learn at the same time. This helps them to relax and have fun while still increasing their English language skills. Our volunteers brought many entertaining games and amusing activities to the class that helped increase the children’s language skills.
The hour began with going around the room and having the students introduce themselves, specifically: their name, age, number of siblings and favorite hobby. Swimming, football, cooking and reading were some of the most popular hobbies. After every child had a chance to introduce themselves, student volunteers came up to the front of the class, two at a time, and roleplayed this introduction, as if they were meeting the other student for the first time. This produced many smiles and giggles amongst the class.
The next activity focused on the students’ favorite food. Our volunteers took a small, light ball, said their favorite food and tossed it to a student around the circle. Once the student caught the ball it was their turn to tell the class what their favorite food was. Next the student would throw it back to the international volunteer at the front of the class, who would then throw it to a new student. The children were interested in their classmates’ answers and could hardly wait for their turn to catch the ball and speak to the class. While one of our volunteers was tossing the ball to and from the students, the other volunteer wrote the students’ responses on the board in English. This exercise was repeated once more but with the students naming their favorite word in English when they caught the ball.
Our volunteers moved on to the subject of animals. One volunteer would begin to draw an animal on the board in front of the class and the students would say the name in English. The students were so entertained with this activity, all wanting to be the first one to name the animal. The volunteer then switched to writing a word in English on the board (such as: house, sun, girl, flower, bus) and the students would raise their hands to come up and draw the word. This also produced such excitement among the students, each one raising their hand as high as possible and shaking it back and forth, hoping to be picked.
The class of twenty-five students came to a close with everyone standing up and singing a well-known English song called, “Head-Shoulders-Kneed-and-Toes.” As our volunteers increased the speed of the song the student’s laughter almost drowned out the lyrics. Each week we at the Excellence Center listen to feedback from the students and from their Palestinian teacher, Hiba. Hiba is pleased with our activities and the students are always looking forward each week to this hour with our volunteers.