We have been getting a lot of help from teachers, psychologists, educators and volunteers in designing a post-earthquake lesson plan for schools. Educators Sarita Bhattarai, Safala Rajbhandari, Bilquees Banu and Kausalya Khadka along with Karkhana teachers Roshan Bhatta and Sunoj Shrestha conducted a trial class for 16 kids from the Salyani Durbar camp.
1. Experience sharing:
Sarita started by sharing her experience during the earthquake and then encouraged the kids to share their individual experiences. Some kids had a collective memory of the earthquake since they lived in the same area and built on each others ideas.
2. Window activity:
The kids were divided into groups of 4 and each team took 3 minutes to add to the four sentences we had prepared.
- I am sad when …
- I am safe when …
- I am happy when …
- I am scared when …
3. Story to art:
We came up with 5 stories stories that explained various coping mechanisms that the kids could use. Each team had 3 minutes to read the story and 10 minutes to draw the story on a white board. After that each team selected a ‘teacher’ among them who’d explain the story while the rest of the members were ‘students’. The students moved from table to table to go through each story.
4. Identifying strengths:
Bilquees asked the kids to raise their hands if they could relate to the strengths that was listed in the charts. Then the kids identified their own strengths in pairs and then added those to the list.
5. Rebuilding Nepal:
The kids then used collage to express their ideas on how they could rebuild Nepal. They then shared their plans with the whole class. One of the groups made two storied houses and said that these small houses were much safer than the tall buildings. Other teams built Dharahara and advised everyone to plant trees all around Kathmandu.
6. Reflection and Review
It took us 4 hours and 15 minutes to conduct the whole class. After the class we all took some time to reflect on things that worked well and things that we could improve on. We noted the changes we need to make to fine tune the activities we came up with. We will refine the lesson plan and use it to train teachers to prepare them for their ‘First day of school after the quake’.