Volunteer Experiences: Flexibility Is Key

 

          One thing that never ceases to amaze me with these kids is that they take what you give them, whether it be instructions, a prompt, or even paper and markers, and they completely make it their own. For example, this week we divided the kids into three groups and had them rotate between three stations for about ten minutes. The theme for the day was World Builder, and each station attributed to the fantasy/imaginary land the kids would be creating. My station initially involved creating a map for the world they were building, and each of the students began by drawing the building blocks of their fantasy world. One of the students, Marcus, created his own video game world and drew out an expansive level and continuously described what his character had to complete to pass onto each area he had created within the level. Another of the students, Yaffa, created a world completely made out of animals. (Trees made out of ducks, etc.)

          At the beginning of the hour I had created my own map as an example for the kids to work off of, yet when the hour was finished I realized that maybe only one of the kids had drawn an actual map while the rest drew images of these worlds they had created. At first, I thought I had failed in explaining what I had planned for them, yet I realized what they did was even more interesting and creative than what I had presented. It was really something to watch the kids eagerly share and describe their unique worlds at the end of the hour. I’m starting to learn that the best way to approach certain activities and engage with the kids is with a little flexibility. You’d be surprised at what they’ll eventually churn out. Looking forward to next week!

-Zach Elsbecker

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