More than Just a Game: The Power of Play

The Somali Literacy Project

Naima Shirdon 

I’ve often heard from teachers and parents alike about the many characterizations of Somali children – that they are ‘rowdy’ or ‘loud.’ While others may state this is simply part and parcel of being a kid, it’s important to note that there is a time and a place for everything. For example, a child cannot continue to color his/her drawing if it is circle time and the teacher has called all the children to the mat. All of us – children included – have to adhere to the ‘rules’ of our different environments, which dictate that some behaviors are appropriate in some settings, but not in others. During a literacy workshop I was involved in, the children of the attendees were increasingly becoming disruptive (hindering the focus of some parents). Not many would anticipate that role play would be the perfect antidote – creating a win-win situation for…

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