If you are a volunteer with ACTOR, it’s on you what you want to do in your kindergarten and school lessons with the kids.
Every volunteer is focusing on something else. Some are teaching the children basic facts about human rights, others decided to tell them something about their home countries or just talk about their live experiences.
But the real question is not which topic to choose, it is how you can manage to make your lesson plan interesting and individual for such young children? Most of us decided to use art, not only because it makes everything more colourful, more exciting and refreshing for kids, also because it is easier for them to remember the meaning behind our lesson like that. Art doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to craft or draw something in your lessons, itincludes also literature, film, photography, music, dance and so on. For me, these tools are a really good way to communicate with children here in Romania, because my Romanian isn’t the best for sure and through art, I have the chance to reach out to the kids and talk to them in a different way. Through our concerning the lesson plans, you have the chance to achieve a wide variety of children’s emotions. Starting from satisfaction,when you craft something in your classes and the children are succeeding, up to calmness, when you play music and let them just feel the moment. But art is not only helping us in the schools, the hospitals are filled with creative activities too. One of our main occupations there is making Origami. At the first sight you maybe think there is no deeper reason behind crafting Origami, than having a nice paper figure afterwards. But the longer you think about it, you realise that it is a good exercise for your brain, if you do it on a regular basis. Not only, because you have to remember all the steps, also because you need the ability to work precisely and with sensitivity. Of course, not all kids are really into crafting. That’s why we have a lot of other activities, but all of them wouldn’t be that much fun without music playing in the background. For some children music helps to concentrate, for others it’s just fun to sing along or show their dance moves. The environment gets automatically more friendly and chill. Music helps kids to learn speaking and getting a better pronunciation, it improves the ability to remember something and it encourages the sense of rhythm.
One of my favourite activities with kids around 5 to 7 years is crafting something simple, where they can cut and glue the pieces together. It helps them to learn these simple tasks, which they always need in their future live. Most of the children really enjoy crafting, especially when I tell them that they can take it home with them. It is always really lovely how proud they are of themselves, when they finished their task and show me their result with a big smile on their face.
To sum up, I can just say that art is an important tool for education and we should use it as often as possible in our lessons.
Was written by Jana Leimlehner – SolidA.I.R. volunteer 2020
SolidA.I.R. is a A.C.T.O.R. project supported by the programme European Solidarity Corps.