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Kenema workshop July 2011


A crude draft of our model of literacy within language-experience

• This was intended to picture how all written language originates in spoken words exchanged between people in social contexts.


A letter-sound table


Gbima, Aloycious and Hajj perform Quentin’s Blake’s ‘Sorting out the Kitchen Pans’ from his anthology ‘All Join In’, using their own pots and pans. The poem consists almost entirely of onomatopoeic combinations of onsets and rimes: bing bang bong clang ding tong tang ting…..


A listening activity: participants were asked to close their eyes for one minute exactly and simply listen to things going on around them. The chart story is below. We were silent for one minute. We heard a fan humming. We heard the clock ticking. We heard a chair scraping. We heard children shouting. We heard birds singing. We heard a car passing by far away. We heard a phone ringing. We heard somebody coughing. We heard silence.


Collaboratively written chart story based on street names in Kenema We live in a town called Kenema. There are many streets in Kenema. Some start with K. They are Kamada, Koroma, Kahunla, Kalilu and Kanneh. Some start with E. They are Ellie, Ensah and Emma. There are many streets in Kenema. We live in a town called Kenema.


Alphabet race: first touchdown


Alphabet race: Gbima and Hajj referee


Alphabet race: children watch teachers being children.


The children take over the game.


Rob, the segmenting and blending robot, constructed from a water bottle and a toilet roll tube.


Puppets made from sweet potatoes used to enact and retell ‘Nazrudin at the Chief’s Feast’ at the workshop. Left to right: the chief’s bodyguard, Nazrudin and the chief. When completed, they have a hole carved in the base. The puppeteer puts a piece of fabric, differentiated for characters over his or her hand, and inserts index finger into the base of the head; thumb and other fingers provide body language. Optional hats can be added. Heads can be taken home and cooked for dinner after use.


Our hosts for the Friday teaching sessions


The timetable: note the blocks for language arts.


Setting up the classroom.


Composing a chart story.


The set-up at the school for children and observers, with the criteria for peer and self assessment on the poster at the back of the class.


These images from the Reading Liberia books were used to stimulate chart stories in advance of the participants hearing the books read aloud. The following slides show a selection of other images used to stimulate chart stories during the first teaching block.


Veronica’s hand-made reed puppet


Listening to ‘Shoes that Fit’.


Listening to Kaka-Kolo


A selection of oral traditions


It’s the end of the workshop, and the team are visibly beginning to fade away.


Returning to Freetown airport, the speedboat hit low tide and bearers were summoned to carry passengers ashore.


Michelle and George decided to wade.


The End


Workshop in Kenema, Sierra Leone