Mozambique Weekly Awesome: Malaria Education for Teacher Trainers in Pemba

With the end of the school year quickly approaching and the intrinsic motivation of the students rapidly declining, it was clear something needed to be done to recharge Kristina Kennedy’s English classes at the Teacher Training Institute in Pemba, Mozambique. Kristina created an in class competition to take the pain out of learning English grammar. During classes Kristina used malaria-based activities to teach some of the tougher lessons in English. Vocabulary words became part of a game, phrases and sentence structure became a relay race, translating a book became an interactive project, and the whole week wrapped up with an unorthodox review session.

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On day one, students decoded sentences in groups, competing against each other to put single words in order according to grammar rules to reveal a larger paragraph that taught the symptoms of malaria. Day two they had a discussion of the steps to take if you think you have malaria and the grammar topic of giving advice. On day three they did an interactive activity translating “Tatu Luta Contra a Malária” (Tatu Fights Against Malaria) and read aloud.

On day four, the grand finale, students were put into teams and were given a variety of tasks and each completed task earned the team points. They took what they learned throughout the week and put it into context. Students posed under their mosquito nets and took pictures of themselves covering buckets of water, two simple ways they can reduce their exposure to mosquitoes and malaria. Some teams wrote and performed skits about what to do when the symptoms of malaria manifest. Other teams took the artistic approach even further and wrote songs or designed posters to spread the awareness to their colleagues.

In all, 27 students modeled correct mosquito net usage or bucket covering, 19 people were surveyed (In English) about their mosquito net usage, 14 teams wrote and performed a song or skit, six teams made Malaria Awareness posters, three students used their precious internet time to “like” the Stomp Out Malaria page on Facebook, and one team did a mock radio interview that landed them in the winners circle.

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This seemingly small stylistic adaptation provided Kristina’s students with information that not only encouraged personal health and wellness, it also provided each future educator with several strategic teaching tools that they will use to impact the lives of student all over Mozambique.

“My students are going to be teachers themselves. In just two years they are going to be placed all over the country to teach young children and I’m hoping that they take what I’m teaching them to heart and teach that to their own students one day.” -Kristina