Read! Write! Act!

So finally in the midst of a world crisis, and after much deliberation and agonising decisions by the judges from around the world we are almost ready to announce the 18 winning plays of the 2019/2020 Hands Up Project Playwriting competition.

Competitions are great; they can provide an incentive to produce work of exceptional quality (and yet again young people in Palestine have surpassed themselves with their brilliance, their  commitment, and their innovative storytelling and performance skills) but with over 150 plays submitted, it’s also inevitable that some excellent plays are not amongst the winners.

So at this point it’s important to remind ourselves of why we put on the play writing and performing competition every year. We do it so that young people in Palestine may have an opportunity to develop their English in motivating  and learning rich ways and that they may tell their untold stories to the world.

This fact is beautifully illustrated in Inas Younis Shurrab’s post below about how she turned the competition into a wonderful multi-skilled learning opportunity for all.


Inas 4


Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, but thinking what no one else has thought. It’s not what you look at the matters, it’s what you see. Critical and creative thinking is more than a skill for learning; it’s a skill for life. Everyone – not just our students, can benefit from enhanced thinking skills both in and out of the classroom.

Making a play out of a short story can be a good way to enable students to think about how to write a complete script which can be performed on  stage and deciding on all the required materials to act this play successfully. The challenge of their creative thinking will increase if we ask them to change the title ,the end or the whole story to tell us  something about their life. They should keep the story in their minds but to think about telling things differently.

Towards the Top ,is a school initiative about students making plays out of English short stories . It was presented to them as a competition between different teams to encourage them to do their best. Every team has their own short story.

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The Target group:

The excellent and talented students at Al Fukhari Prep.Girls School from grade 5 to grade 9.

Time: October and November 2019

The Main Idea:

Students work in teams to read  and understand an English short story. They then transfer it into a play in English and Arabic.

The Aims of the competition:

1-  To get students to practice the four skills of English (reading , writing , speaking and listening) in order to improve their language.

2- To enhance the creative and the critical thinking of students.

3-  To develop students self-confidence and team work.

4- To produce some purposeful plays made by the students of Al Fukhari School.

5 – To determine the most talented girls from different grades to write and perform in English.

The stages and how to win:

In order to win in the competition , the team have to pass four stages and to gain four golden stars to reach the medal of the winner. The Four stages are:

1- Stage 1: To pass this stage, the whole team should read and understand the story completely and to complete the first page in the competition handbook. They will be tested orally to make sure of that.

2- Stage 2: In this stage , the team of students should write their own play based on the short story . After checking the written script of the play , the team will gain the second golden star.

3- Stage 3: The team perform the play in front of the leading committee of the competition. Then they will have the third golden star.

4- Stage 4: In the last stage , the team have to make some changes in the play (story ) title and script to create a new end for the story . In this case the team will gain the fourth golden star.

To see the presentation of the four stages see this video

Notes :

1- The given short stories are of different levels of difficulty to suit the level of different grades of students.

2-Every team will be asked to choose a name for them based on the moral of their story.

3-  The responsible committee will guide all the teams and give them the needed feedback and advice to do their best.

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2 thoughts on “Read! Write! Act!

  1. Wow , Inas 🙂
    I am very into this !
    It is so fantastic when the students are exposed to such rich framework of using the language in a very authentic context . This covers all the aspects of learning the language , I think , because the students will be able to produce a well structured series of the learnt language , use the structure very spontaneously and perform the language which is the ultimate goal we always seek .
    Also , I can see that this kinds of competitions has to do a lot with taching our students about life . Teaching them to praise others and value themselves and their classmates , spread a sense of good competitive spirit through the whole learning atmosphere and seek for the best always .
    Well done Inas Younis Shurrab , keep doing this !
    Good luck for all 🙂


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