Welcome to the Marine Mammal and wildlife Research and Community Development Expedition blog where you can keep up to date with all the happenings and information from Kenya

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jamming in Shimoni

On Friday afternoon, we got to run a creative writing class with the Standard 8 students from Shimoni Primary School. This turned out to be the highlight of my week. After teaching English and Maths for so long, getting the opportunity to work creatively with the student’s proved to be an amazing experience.

Mzungu Rap

After a long brainstorming session, we decided it might be a good idea to use music to demonstrate the fact that there are many ways to tell a story. So we dressed up as “gangsters” as best we could and came up with a “Mzungo Rap” to perform to the class. I was nervous all day that we might be laughed at by the kids but I needn’t have worried. As soon as we settled the class and began to sing, the entire class started dancing along. We finished the song to a huge, excited applause.

Standart 8

Next up, Fred and Julien lent their musical expertise and performed an acoustic version of “Jamming’” by Bob Marley. Though initially, none of the students knew the words, after playing it only twice everyone was singing along, “We’re jamming, I hope you like jamming too.”With the song still stuck in their heads, we split the class into four groups and asked each group to form an imaginary band, come up with a name and write a short song about a specific theme.

Fred and Julien Jamming in Shimoni

The students worked diligently, pressing their heads together, the only song writing interrupted only by the occasional bout of giggling or clapping. And so, to finish the class, we had a small concert and each group performed their song. With a group called “The Shimoni Club Singers,” and a rousing song about soccer, I knew the class had been a success. Students and GVI staff alike left the class smiling, admittedly still clicking their fingers and tapping to the beat.

Rachel Shepheard