A Good Ugly, thoughts on week two by Grace Shin

We started off Week 4 of our program with some driving. We drove 6 hours from Pangani to Bagamoyo (in addition to the 8 hours we had driven from Arusha to Pangani the previous Sunday.) On Sunday afternoon, we arrived at Baobab Secondary School, an impressive campus at both first sight and in hindsight. The students of this all-girls school were away on holiday, but we held a two-day workshop for nearly 50 Baobab teachers.

The first day focused on reading photographs in order to get into the LTP mindset and routine. The teachers had many questions for us right off the bat such as, “How can we use this to teach integration?” “How much are these cameras?” and “How can we sustain this method after you leave?” Later in the day, we started a Memory Map project, where each teacher was asked to draw, write, and then take pictures representing the very first home that they could remember as well as the memories they have from that place.Here are some example Memory Map brainstorm sheets from Baobab:

On the second day, each Duke student worked with a group of teachers that teach the same subject. There was a Mathematics group, a Biology group, an English group, a Kiswahili group, as well groups for other subjects that students study at Baobab. These focused groups were created in order to brainstorm how LTP could be used specifically for the teachers’ respective areas of expertise.

I worked with three English teachers who already had ideas about how well LTP could be integrated into their lessons.

  •  Reading photographs to write original stories
  • Taking the perspective of characters in novels and poems
  •  Creating alphabet projects to learn new vocabulary

For the LTP workshop, we decided to make posters for different comparative and superlative adjectives. We portrayed tall, taller, tallest by using various trees on campus. We represented pleasant, more pleasant, and most pleasant by implying the lovely scents of flowers with facial expressions. My favorite poster was the one of the adjective, ugly.

At first, I had no idea how we could make a poster for the word ugly without doing something uncomfortable, obnoxious, or offensive. So when this particular teacher suggested a safe yet creative way of doing so—using his crumpled up facial expressions—I was really impressed. Everyone who took a look at these printed pictures had to crack a smile. The poster was not only entertaining, but was sweet at the time. The teacher accompanied his printed pictures with a written story about his experiences with kids. He wrote that he loved playing with them and making them laugh with his humorous faces. I would not be surprised if he and the other teachers that came up with this idea for ugly often make their students laugh inside the classroom. One thing’s for sure—their students will laugh when they see these fun yet educational and personal posters. Ugly. Uglier. Ugliest.












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