Learning about Malaria with Standard 7

By 4 years ago
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Learning about Malaria with Standard 7
 Standard 7 at Nyota Ing’arayo School have been learning about ‘Mosquitoes and Malaria’ from their Kenyan curriculum text book.
I have always encouraged them to improve their creative writing skills, which usually took the form of writing stories.  However, this time I wanted to see if they could change their style of writing and construct an information leaflet instead.
Volunteer Natasha with students from Std 7
 I asked them to tell me where they would find a leaflet about malaria; “In a hospital!” they all said.  I asked them what kind of information would be useful for people to know about mosquitoes, this prompted lots of complicated, scientific answers about the female anopheles mosquito.  This was all quite correct and what we had learnt from our text books, but not quite what I was looking for…
 After a short discussion the class decided that the leaflet needed to be easy to understand so that young children and adults who may not have been lucky enough to attend school could all understand it.  The class also suggested including lots of pictures to help explain the text, they thought that this would be especially useful as the intended audience for the leaflet may not understand a lot of English.  Each child decided on a few pieces of information which they thought were the most important things for others to know.
Standard 7
I was extremely impressed by the results of only a one hour lesson: most of the class had completed all of their writing and were starting on the illustrations.  As a returning volunteer I was fortunate enough to be able to teach my original Standard this time around too.  I last taught them when they were in Standard 6 and only one year later I am incredibly proud of the progress they have made!
An assignment like this one used to always take a lot longer than I had planned, due to the fact that they weren’t used to doing this type of task.  Kenyan teaching is often confined to working through a text book, page by page.  The way that they understood my instructions and created a leaflet of their own with only minimal teaching assistance is proof to me that the GVI volunteers are doing very valuable work here in Mombasa.
I was so impressed by their leaflets that I decided to proudly display it on our classroom wall!

 By Natasha Richardson – Volunteer