Friends of African Village Libraries/CESRUDMay 2013c/o Sumbrungu Community LibraryBox 267Bolgatanga, Upper EastGhanaActivities GuideA guide for librarians full offun and educational activitiesto organize at the libraryFriends of African Village Libraries/CESRUD
PAGE 2 IntroductionThis guide has been created for you, thelibrarians, to offer ideas of different ac-tivities to organize at the library. Thereare activities for children, students andadults. There are reading, art and theatreactivities as well educational workshops.There are a number of activities for youto try, but please do not be limited tothis guide. Use your knowledge, imagi-nation and creativity to organize otherfun activities that are both educationaland productive. Feel free to add activi-ties that you know and you would liketo share in the guide.Have Fun!Educational Sessions PAGE 19Awareness about female excisionExcision is a practice that often impedes social and cultural well-beingof girls and women.Materials: Pictures of female genital tract, excisionFirst meetingList the external parts of the female genital tract. Show the diagram anddiscuss. [Note: The facilitator directs without pressure.]Animator: What do you see in this picture? Is excision is a good thing?Organize into two groups: those that are for and against excision. Dis-cuss the different ideas. Each person explains why they are for oragainst excision.Animator explains that non-excised women are also clean and re-spected and do not make their husbands impotent. Excised women canbe traumatized by the pain they suffer. It is not true that the clitoris ofthe non-excised woman kills her baby at birth. Excised women feel lessduring sexual intercourse.Second sessionRecall of the two arguments. Each member of the groups makes aresolution to confirm or disprove his choice.Explain: Excision may cause sterility in women. Excision can causehemorrhage, tetanus, AIDS, which can lead to death. Excised womenwho give childbirth will experience painful births and potential deadlyconditions afterwards.
PAGE 18 Educational SessionsHygiene awareness: Experiment with hot pepperObjectives: Students should be able to: Understand that most of the bacteria that cause illness are invisible. Wash hands with soap every time you eatPurpose: To show that invisible bacteria in your body can cause disease,just like chili reacts with the eyes.Materials needed: hot pepper, soap, dish, waterChoose a student and ask him to touch the pepper with his hand. Ask ifthe hot pepper is visible on the hand. Ask the student if he would rubhis eyes with his hand. When he refuses, ask why. Offer a little water tothe student and have him wash his hands (without soap). Again, askhim to rub his eye. If he still refuses, ask why. Now provide soap andwater to the student and ask him to wash his hands. Now he will touchhis hand to his face.Explain that while hot pepper on a hand is not always visible, but it isstill dangerous and painful when you rub your eyes without washingyour hands. It is the same for bacteria. They are invisible, but they cancause illness if you do not wash your hands. When you eat withoutwashing your hands, your stomach will hurt just like the hot pepper inthe eye. So always wash your hands before eating!PAGE 3 Table of ContentsReading Techniques… … … … … … … … …p. 4Reading Activities… … … … … … … …p. 5—8Art activities… … … … … … … … … p. 9—10Song and Dance… … … … … … … … … …p. 11Fun Games … … … … … … … … … p. 12—13Debates … … … … … … … … … …p. 14—15Theatre … … … … … … … … … … …p. 16—17Educational Sessions… … … … … … …p.18—19
PAGE 4 Reading TechniquesEach child learns in a different way, especially when it comes to read-ing. There are various techniques that you can use with young readersto improve their literacy skills.1. Guided free readingEach student takes a book of their choice and reads silently while yousupervise. Students can ask questions regarding difficult words, phrasesor images.2. Free readingEach student takes a book of his or her choice and sits in the library orout in courtyard to read.3. Group readingDivide the children into small groups. Choose a book for each group.One by one, the child reads out loud as his peers follow and listen si-lently. When the reader has finished the passage, he passes the book tohis neighbor to continue.4. Peer tutoringPlace children into pairs, two by two, strong readers with weak readers.The two read together, the stronger reader helping the weaker reader.This is a very good exercisethat makes weaker readersmore comfortable and raisesthe confidence of strongreaders.Theater (cont.) PAGE 17Using theater to educateTheater is an effective way to get people thinking about how situationsrelate to their lives. Find a group of kids who are not too timid(theater doesn’t work well is everyone is afraid to speak!) and find atopic that the kids feel strongly about or that is currently an issue inyour community. Here are some examples, but you can create a playabout anything (hygiene, the library, eating nutritious meals, etc.,etc.).Scenario: delaying sexFatima meets a young man named Boubacar at school. She likes himbecause he is handsome and athletic. He greets her after class and givesher a gift, and says it’s for their future friendship. He invites her to outto a bar. Fatima likes him but the situation makes her uncomfortable.What should she do?Scenario: peer pressure1. A group of friends from school are at a dance party. They are danc-ing and having a good time together. One of the friends brings out abeer from under his/her jacket. He or she begins to drink and tries toget the others to drink with him/her. Some of the friends in the groupagree. Show how others might deal with this peer pressure situation.2. A group of friends are walking around town. They have nothing todo and are bored. One of them suggests they go steal from the candyshop. Some approve because it will be something exciting for them todo. On the way there, one of them is afraid and does not want to par-ticipate. Create a role play showing what this person would do to resistpeer pressure.
PAGE 16 Theater“Oh Henry”This activity is a great introduction to theater for beginners. It is an ex-ercise in expressing emotions. Ask the group form a circle. Remindthem we communicate in many different ways, including with ourbodies and our voices. Explain that this activity will illustrate how dif-ferent uses of our voice and our body can communicate differentthings.Show how you can say the sentence "Oh Henry" to express variousemotions, such as anger, fear and laughter. Ask each participant to takea turn and practice different intonations and facial expressions.Some emotions to try: Sadness, anger, fear, grief, anxiety, joy, love,passion, confusion, depression, jealousy, misery, regret, guilt, disap-pointment, happiness.After each participant has taken a turn, discuss what techniques wereused to express the different emotions. Have each participant take an-other turn, and this time, the group has to guess which emotion is be-ing expressed.Reading Activities PAGE 5Alphabet WorkshopIn this activity, students practice the alphabet and each letter’s sound. Itcan be done with a large or small group of students. Write each letterof the alphabet on a small piece of paper several times, so that you endup with 4 or 5 sets of the alphabet. Spread the pieces of paper out ran-domly in front of the kids. Work on various techniques like: identify-ing letters and words that start with the letters, putting letters in order,associating sounds with letters, creating syllables, etc.Look at the cover ... and guess!Divide the children into small groups and choose a book that no onehas read. Show them only the cover. Tell them to imagine what willhappen in the book, simply by looking at the cover image and title.Have them share their thoughts with the group. After, read the bookto the group and assess whether they were right and why they made thepredictions they did.Guess the endingRead a story to the children, but stop a few pages before the resolutionof the story. Let students exchange ideas about how they think thestory should end. After the exchange read the ending of the story andsee who’s prediction was the closest.
PAGE 6 Reading Activities (cont.)Noun-ManiaStart students with a noun (ex: house). They write that word at the topof a sheet of paper. Say "Go!" and students will extend their list by writ-ing a noun that begins with the last letter of the noun before it. Theactivity continues. The person with the longest list of nouns at the endof three minutes is the winner. (ex: house, elephant, toe, egg, gerbil,ladder, road, dollar, robot) Verify that all words are nouns.Alphabet CountryAsk students to sit in a circle on the floor. Choose a student and askhim or her to name a country of the world that begins with the letterA. The next student in the circle should name a country that beginswith B, then C, and so on until the class has identified a country forevery letter of the alphabet (except X). If a student cannot name acountry, the turn passes to the next student in the circle. If more thanthree students in a row are stumped by the same letter, return to thefirst stumped student and allow him or her to look for a country on amap or globe. If time allows, ask each student to create an alphabetbook of the countries of the world.Word BINGOWrite a list of 20+ words on the blackboard. Give each student a sheetof paper that they fold in halves until its folded into sixteenths. Eachstudent unfolds their piece of paper and writes one word from the listin each of the boxes. They can choose any words that they like. Begincalling out the words on the blackboard,one by one. When a student gets fourwords in a line (horizontally, verticallyor diagonally), they stand up and shout“BINGO!” Play can continue until eve-ryone has won.Debates (cont.) PAGE 15Potential themes for debates:1. We do not need to sleep at night with mosquito nets.2. Why use latrines when we have nature?3. Since every woman will marry and have children and have her hus-band take care of her, women do not need to continue school afterthe primary level.4. Sexual relations before marriage are part of modern life.5. Using condoms is against African cultures.6. "It is good for a boy to experience sex before marriage, but if a girldoes so, she is a prostitute.”7. Only men have the right to decide when to have sex with theirwives.8. Continuing their education is the best way for women to be inde-pendent.9. Having more than one sexual partner gives you a fuller life.10. The use of condoms prevents you to experience true sexual pleas-ure.
PAGE 14 DebatesDebates are great activities to do with people of all ages and educationlevel. It is a great way to share ideas and introduces different opinions.Small group discussionsThis is a good activity to do with younger children and get them toexchange ideas with their peers. Ask questions about their culture andenvironment. After giving them a minute to think, begin the discus-sion.Examples of topics:a) How to avoid malaria; b) How to respect the library; c) Maintenanceof books in the library; d) Use of latrines; e) How to succeed at school;f) How to overcome peer pressureDebatesDiscussions organized around formal arguments between two diver-gent groups on a controversial issue are very effective. Debates aremore effective if you: Choose a theme that participants really care about Insist that the participants team up on the opposite group of theargument they believe. This forces them to think differently andanalyze the discussion on all levels to develop an effective argu-ment. This also helps them see things from the perspective of oth-ers. Write themes of the debate in advance so that participants can re-search and collect information to develop their arguments. Divide into teams for the debate. Try to make them argue and de-fend by turns so that everyone is obliged to think and participate. Have judges (parents, teachers, health staff, etc.) come and listen tothe arguments and choose the winning team. Hand out smallprizes.Reading Activities (cont.) PAGE 7Book reportAsk a library member to choose a book to take home. After they readit, have them write a short summary that you can display in the library.The report should say what the story is about and what the reader likedor disliked about it. You can also organize a session where readers meetand share their summaries with others.Write a storyInvite readers to write a story or fable of their choice.Share a story with familyThis activity is a good way to raise awareness of the library and its im-portance in the community. Ask readers to choose a book they likeand bring it home to their families. They should read, share and discussthe story with different family members. The next day, the child sharesor writes about his experience.Poetry WritingExplain the concept of poetry and rhymes to the group. Play matchinggames to make sure kids understand rhymes. After, have them writetheir own poems and decorate them with drawings in colored pencil tocreate a book.Acrostic PoetryHave each student choose a word or name of a person and write it ver-tically on a sheet of paper. Foreach letter in the word, studentscome up with a line to describe it.Example:B rings out your imaginationO ne can enter a new worldO ne of a kindK eeps your brain smart
YesseHave the children form a line. Say a word, like "school" or "book", forexample. One by one, the students call out the letter to spell the givenword. If someone makes a mistake, the group shouts "Yesse" and theyare eliminated. The last child left standing is the winner. You can addrules if you want. For example, the first child says the letter, the secondsays the sound of this letter and the third one says a word that beginswith that letter.HopscotchDraw hopscotch on the ground with chalk. In each hopscotch square,write a letter of the alphabet. The children play the game normally, butwhen they land in a square they must say the letter, its sound and aword beginning with that letter.PAGE 8 Reading Activities (cont.) Fun Games (cont.) PAGE 13TelephoneAsk participants to sit in a circle. Think of a phrase like "There are manypeople who enjoy working in the garden" or "I will walk toward theriver to go fishing." Whisper your phrase softly to the person to yourright. This person then quietly whispers the same phrase to the personon their right, and so on. Each person should only whisper what heheard and cannot repeat the phrase more than once. Finally, the personto your left should be the last to hear the sentence. Ask him to repeatit aloud. Then tell the group what your initial phrase was.Burkina Faso, Ghana and TogoWith chalk draw three lines down on the ground. Mark Burkina on thefirst line, Ghana on the middle line and Togo on the third line. All par-ticipants must start on the Ghana line. Begin shouting the names ofthe 3 countries and participants must jump from one country to an-other (on the line), according to the country you say. If any partici-pant jumps on the wrong country, falls or wobbles, they are out of thegame. The last participant standing is the winner.RiddlesAsk a riddle to the children. Give them time to reflect the answer andshare with to the group.ExamplesWhat always sleeps with its shoes on?Answer: a horseWhat has a bark but no bite?Answer: a tree
PAGE 12 Fun GamesLifeboatGo outside or in a spacious area. Tell the group to imagine theyrefloating on a vast ocean. They need to make rescue boats to survive.Yell out a number, for example "6"! Participants should form groups ofsix to avoid drowning. If the group is composed of more or less than 6persons, the entire group has “drowned” and is eliminated. The two re-maining people standing are the winners.Spider webParticipants form small group - about five or six people. Each persongrabs hold of the hands of those in their circle. They cannot hold handswith the person next to them, and they must hold the hands of twodifferent people. Then they must try to untangle and return to oneopen circle--without letting go of one another’s hands. After every-one is done, ask questions about the activity. What made groups suc-cessful? Why? What techniques were used?Draw the pictureHere is a good activity to illustrate the different perceptions peoplehave of what they hear. Ask 5 volunteers to leave the room for a fewminutes. Ask participants to draw a simple illustration, like a house or atree. Bring back the 1st volunteer and show them the drawing for 20seconds. Hide the picture and then bring in the 2nd volunteer. The 1stvolunteer must verbally describe the illustration in the 2nd who in turndescribes to the 3rd, and so on. When the 5th volunteer has heard adescription, give him a new sheet of paper and colored pencils. He willtry to make the illustration as he hears it. They should not receive anyhelp from the group. When he has finished, compare it with the origi-nal.Art Activities PAGE 9DrawingSit the children comfortably at a table with enough space and equip-ment. Let them draw freely. Materials needed: paper, pencils, erasers,crayons and colored pencils.Making necklacesUse old magazines to tear strips, lengthwise, from top to bottom,about 1 inch thick. Children roll the pieces into tight coils. Put a dropof glue at the end to properly close the coils. They must make enoughto make a necklace. Attach the coils onto a thin rope or twine and tieit around the neck of the child.CollageGive old magazines to children and let them cut out the pictures andimages they want. With glue or tape, they stick the images onto asheet of paper. You can give each a theme, like "my life at home," "atschool" “at the library " Students use pictures related to the theme.Creating a maskPass out sheets of white paper to children and help them draw the maskoutline dotted or solid lines. Masks can be in the form of wild or do-mestic animals, or even vegetables. Cut out the mask and let the chil-dren decorate their masks freely, using colored pencils. Tie the masksto the head of the child using elastics. Each child should write his namebehind the mask and you can displaythem in the library.Materials needed: paper, pencils, col-ored pencils, erasers, crayons, markers,scissors, staplers, rubber bands, glue.
PAGE 10 Art Activities (cont.)Making a bookIn this activity, children combine writing and drawing by creating theirown book. For example, a student might create a Book of Colors. Oneach page, the student writes a sentence such as "the pants are yellow,"and then illustrates it. Children may work alone or in groups. Displaythe books in the library.Making bookmarksCut white paper into the shape of a bookmark (long and rectangular).Let children decorate the bookmarks freely with colored pencils ormarkers. This activity is a good opportunity to talk about how to prop-erly handle and care for the library books.OrigamiOrigami is an ancient Japanese art form. Different forms are created(animals, flowers, etc.) simply by folding paper in different ways.Head of a Dog1. Use a regular-sized piece of white paper. Turn it diagonally and foldin two. (Figure 1)2. Fold over the corners, like the diagram below. (Figure 2)3. Use crayons or colored pencils to draw a face. (Figure 3) Done!Figure 1 Figure 2 Figure 3Song and Dance PAGE 11Alice the CamelAlice the camel has 10 humps, Alicethe camel has 10 humpsAlice the camel has 10 humps, so go,Alice, GO!Bom Bom Bom…[Continue with 9,8,7…humps until…]Alice the camel has no humps, Alicethe camel has no humpsAlice the camel has no humps, ‘cause Alice is a HORSE!Head, Shoulders, Knees and ToesHead and shoulder, knees and toes, knees and toes.Head and shoulder, knees and toes, knees and toes.And eyes and ears, and a mouth and a nose.Head and shoulder, knees and toes, knees and toes.[Touch the appropriate body part each time it’s mentioned. Secondtime: don’t say the word “head’’ aloud but still touch it. Each versethereafter, add another body part that you touch but don’t mentionaloud.]B-I-N-G-OThere was a farmer who had a dog and Bingo was his name-oB-I-N-G-OB-I– N-G-OAnd Bingo was his name-o[Repeat, but when spelling Bingo, clap instead of saying “B.” The nexttime clap twice in place of “B” and “I.” Continue replacing letters withclaps until you’re clapping for each of the letters in Bingo’s name, in-stead of spelling it.]
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