In the next few days, our volunteer teachers continued to lead the “More Reading, More Happiness” activity. When teacher Li-Zhen led the reading group, she tried to let the children read the story first. The teacher hided the title and the text of the storybook so that students could only see the pictures and use their imagination. Observing the children’s enthusiastic ideas and creative answers, we couldn’t help laughing.
Teacher Li-Zhen asked, “Seeing these little mice carrying their backpacks, where are they going?”
A child answered, “They are going to camping!”
Other children echoed, “Yeah! They are going camping, “
(In Tibetan, “playing Bazi” meant that the entire family was going to camping on green grass, putting up a white tent, sang folk songs/Tibetan opera, relax and have fun.)
And the teacher asked, “Are you sure? Take a closer look. Do you have any different ideas?”
The children shook their heads and said no.
Then, the teacher slowly showed the book title. It turned out to be “Seven Rats Going to School”!
The children’s answer made all our volunteer teachers laugh. The teachers are all from Taiwan and Shanghai and we never thought that all the children would guess that these little mice were going to play instead of going to school. However, doesn’t this also reflect that background and environment does have a great impact on children’s cognition?
After reading for a long time, teachers were worried that the children would feel tedious. Therefore, we lead the children to play some games, and move their bodies. When playing radish squatting the children were excited and when the speed got faster and faster, they were even happier. This time, volunteer teachers brought a board game specially from Taiwan to play with the children. Through the game, we want to train the children’s reactions and understanding. Children throw themselves into the game and made the class full of laugher and screams.
In order to cultivate children’s ability of outline, abstract, and integrate, the volunteer teacher taught children to make little books. In this small four-page book, children would express one of the storybooks they read in short sentences and pictures. This not only allowed children to develop their imagination, but also trained them in their logical integration. Some children emerged in serious thinking, some first conceive three sentences on each page on the paper, and some try hard to draw. Their focused and attentive look was a beautiful picture.
Time flies quickly, and “More Reading, More Happiness ” reading activity was coming to an end. Volunteer teachers taught children to make wish cards, and then asked them to come on stage to share their wishes. Some children wanted to be on the moon; some want to be superman; some want to be doctors; some want to be police; and some want to be with their family forever. Listening to their wishes, we were very touched and we silently hoped that their wishes would be fulfilled. Teacher Yi-Ting who led this class also drew a wish card herself, hoping to come here again next year. The teacher talked about her hope and burst into tears. Finally, we finished the reading activity with children’s singing, laughing, and blessing.
On the way back, what lingered in our hearts were all the children’s expressions of serious thinking and dedication. Although in the remote Ganzi region, where physical conditions could not be compared with that in the big cities, the innocence and kindness of these children deeply touched us. Through these diversified activities in the past few days, I sincerely hoped that children can find the most original motivation for learning. Whether it was origami, painting, labor, reading or games, they would be inspired to feel appreciation for beauty, creativity, and life, then gradually develop the interest for learning. Wishing these past few days have planted a small seed in all of them and when they grow up, these seeds will be able to germinate in their lives, thrive and grow!