The English Language Fellows’ Midyear Seminar for all Africa Fellows took place in Zanzibar, just off the coast of Tanzania. Fellow Sarah Sanderson, who is based in Uganda, was there, presenting a game called “Headbands” to an audience of 30 local primary- and secondary-school teachers. In the game, players make headbands out of paper and rubber bands and then place pictures of various items on classmates’ heads. Players have to ask questions and use the feedback from their groups to identify successfully the object that they are wearing.
The Zanzibar teachers came away with a new low-prep way to plan a fun and engaging class and a new appreciation of the power of games to stimulate interaction and motivation in students. Feedback from teachers was enthusiastic, and they clearly saw the value in the activity. “This game can be used in other ways too, like practicing new vocabulary or learning about different characters in literature,” suggested on teacher. Several took extra materials to share the game with students and colleagues, with one teacher reporting, “I’m going to take extra rubber bands so I can share this activity with the group of teachers that I mentor.” At least one participant didn’t want to wait for the end of the conference to start sharing. “I’m going to keep my headband on after the workshop so other teachers ask me about it,” she declared.