Youthwork

Straight from the heart

AfricanTide union e.V. and Anne-Frank-Gesamtschule in Dortmund worked six months long with a school group of 22 teens in the play "Straight from the heart".

The pupils are all in the 5th and 6th year and between 10 and 13 years old. The project was located in Anne-Frank Gesamtschule, supported by the class teacher in the afternoon classes. In order to introduce the teenagers to the theater world, theater artists and linguists, began by hosting different kinds of educational theater exercises with them.

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The focus of the first stage was on body awareness and concentration.

Since the teenagers had no prior experience in the field, this preparatory work was absolutely necessary. The time needed for that session was 16 hours. The work was complicated because of their behavioral problems, as seven children have "emotional and social deficits."

The focus of the second stage was diversity and multiculturalism.

Subsequently, ideas were collected on the subject of the piece; as diversity and multiculturalism are part of our project target, the children were able to identify with the content. To step up the struggle they drew pictures that reflect individual aspects of the piece drawing. Additionally, we were able to offer them through improvisation exercises, ways to deal with foreign language stress.

The focus of the third stage was German language in everyday teenage context.

While dealing with the teens that have language issues, those of them without such challenges were kept busy with creative texts. Finally, they all have learned how to express themselves verbally, and also with little efforts, create incomprehensible texts in the design of the program content.

The project was successfully completed in October, 2012.

Wishfully it would be a good idea to continue such projects in other to give other teenagers the opportunity to also benefit from such educational project.