From Ultimate Frisbee to Locating Cities on Maps

This week was quite an exhilarating week.   I decided to incorporate some game time into my oral history class to give the young students a break from the routine of being in the classroom.  They seemed to enjoy this, especially because it involved learning the new game of ultimate frisbee.  We learned how to work together as a team, and the children eventually came to like the new game that they first thought they would not enjoy. In our oral history class we also drew a large family tree. Each student had a branch with a leaf (inside of the leaf written their name, along with their parents’ names).  They then wrote the names of the cities that their parents are from beneath the leaf.  Finally, we practiced our geographical skills by having each student locate the city from which they hail on a map of Palestine.  It was surprising how many students did not know where Ramallah was with regards to Nablus, much less Haifa and Yaffa – cities in present day Israel.  This is definitely something we have been working on and will continue to work on.

The students in my class come from a variety of backgrounds, as we have all learned.  While many students come from Nablus, there are at least five or six students (out of about 18) in each class who are originally from Yaffa, Haifa, or other cities and villages outside of the West Bank.  We have conducted research on the internet (the children absolutely loved this!) to discover where exactly these locations are.  The students have since become ambassadors of these locations.

It has been especially helpful to have Ruba and Mohammad, the two volunteer translators in the class, who have shared their experiences of where their parents are from.  The wisdom of their former experiences has not only been helpful to me as a teacher but has also been great for the students who benefit from a class of committed and energetic volunteers.  The students have also enjoyed listening to stories of my grandparents and were excited to share similar stories in return.  The goal of this class is to have them appreciate learning about their history, and so far, we've been successful!


Asma is an intern at TYO Nablus.