The British Council has worked with English teachers from Palestine’s Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and UNRWA for six years on the use of stories for enjoyable English learning in schools. We use what we had learned from previous similar projects like Kids Read to provide a more sustainable resource for teachers.
Nick Bilbrough has worked with Palestinian English teachers, and on the use of stories and drama, and we commissioned him to write the ‘Stories Alive’ resource book, which contains teachers’ materials for ten stories. The stories include some suggested by Palestinian teachers, some which are known in many countries, and others which originated in Palestine and the Levant.
Each story has a picture story, a story summary in concise sentences, a chant, and a theatre script which students can perform. Powerpoint colour pictures from five different illustrators are also available for every story. Extensive teachers’ notes describe how these resources can be used in a number of different ways. Students and teachers in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank have made creative plays, both acted by students and in shadow – puppet theatre form. They have also interpreted the chants in their own style and with arrangements involving the whole class. In 2016, over 100 teachers were trained to use the materials and we hope that more students enjoy using them.