Resourcefulness in a resource-poor environment

I am just back from Namibia and have been reminded that so many schools around the world cannot afford lots of beautiful resources and materials for the students. BUT we don't need them. It is great when we have them, but making do with what we can find may be even better for our students. Encouraging children to make their own masks and big books is far more creative, hands-on and fun than just giving them ready-made materials.

Making puppets is such fun. Here are some made by the teachers in a very short amount of time.

They can be made by students and used for speaking practise. It doesn't make much sense for young children at primary level to use English amongst themselves BUT getting their puppets to interact in English is a game - of course the puppets can talk English and have their own personalities. The puppets can be used again and again as students build up the English they can say, this can be incorporated into new dialogues.

Big books are very expensive to buy but as we discovered in Okahandja,

Namibia, they can be made very quickly with just a few bits and bobs and a lot of imagination.
For developing literacy and a love of books and story, I can think of little better than these colourful fun books.

The teachers created them in about 30 minutes.

Initially children could just make them using pictures and the teachers can add text, later the children can add their own text.

This poster made by the teachers in the Eagles team sums up the value of using recyclable and readily available materials brilliantly.

Get the children and parents as well as other teachers to start collecting right now:
toilet roll tubes, scrap paper, old newspapers & magazines, plastic bottles and bottle tops, used-up markers and pens, buttons, wool, scarps of fabric, sweet wrappers, food packaging, seed pods, leaves, small pebbles - anything that you can find - and let the children's imaginations run wild!!