RITHIKA GRACE ZACHARIAH
Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of our nation was born on 2 October, 1869. Every year, his birthday is celebrated across the nation as Gandhi Jayanti. This September, we decided to give the children a brief insight into the life of Gandhi. My Gandhi Story, by Rajesh Chaitya Vangad, Nina Sabnani and Ankit Chadha gives us a visual and creative take on the life of Gandhi. The book is adapted to cater to the understanding of young children. In the book, there are three voices- the narrator, a child who questions the narrator and Gandhiji himself.
During the book club, the book reading was performed initially. A quiz was conducted to examine whether the children have gained an understanding of Gandhiji from the book. The children were given scenarios and were asked to come up in pairs and enact their response to that particular scenario in a non-violent and violent manner. The staff had modelled a few scenarios to enable the children to gain a better understanding. After the activity, the children were told that it is better to respond to situations in a non-violent manner. To wind up the book club, the children were asked draw a simple caricature of Gandhiji which was demonstrated by the teacher. Each child was given a small packet of rock salt to highlight the significance of the Dandi March.
(Rithika Grace Zachariah is a special educator at PRAYATNA)
Who would not like to go on a trip around the world? The sea snail’s wish is fulfilled by the humpback whale, who offers her a lift, for a voyage around the world. She is amazed by all that she sees in different parts of the world. Unfortunately, the whale gets stranded on a beach when he loses his way. The sea snail seeks the help of young children in a school nearby. They, along with the local firemen, help the whale get back into the sea and resume his journey. The humpback whale returns the favour to the snail by taking all the sea snails on another trip around the world.
The Book Club began with the narration of the story “The Lion and the Mouse”, where again the tiny mouse frees the king of the forest from the hunter’s net, to prove that size does not matter for helping somebody. Children were given pictures of the story, which they had to arrange in sequence. Subsequently, scenarios were presented to the children, where a young person helped an older one. They had to guess who had helped whom.
The book, The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson, was read out and the children ably answered questions on a quiz that was presented to them. As the story was in the form of a poem, rhyming words were placed on the board, which they had to match. They also had to provide a third rhyming word to the existing pair. The children exhibited their poetic skills by coming up with sentences that ended in the rhyming words. It was an interesting conglomerate of verses!
(Gita Nambiar is a Special Educator at PRAYATNA)