Pilot Project @ Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand: Spread across three schools

 

 

Duration: Summer 2017

Location:   Oogla, Didihat, Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand

Students Covered: Classes 6st to 8th

Number of Students Covered: OVER 100

 

 

 ABHILASHA ACADEMY

 

CLASS 6th, 7th and 8th

In Abhilasha Academy, Oogla four interns of Kitaab Club went for a period of seven working days, that is from  29th of May to 5th of June 2017.

Through this Summer Readership Program we tried to not only inculcate a habit if reading amongst students but also build an environment of confidence and healthy competition. This all was done through various games and activities and by not using any conventional teaching learning practices.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activities and Analysis:

Reading Activity: The students were divided into two groups and one book was introduced in each group.

Book 1- Neelu ki badi si peti

Book 2- Chaand par khargosh

Their reading was monotonous and lacked expressions

 

 

They were trying to speak the big words.

60% of them were just reading and not understanding the story while the rest 40% were understanding but were unable to tell the story in their own words.

The importance of “viram” was explained to them.

 

 

 

 

Writing Activity: The students were given an “akshar” and they had to write as many words as possible from it.

All of them confused श and स, ज and ज़ and 30% were confused between the matras of ऊ and औ.

Re-telling of story: Group 1 told their story “neelu ki badi si peti” in front of the class.

 

 

 

Reading– The book “Akbar-Birbal” was introduced to the students. They read the story twice with each student reading one paragraph each.

90% of the students were paying attention to what the other student was reading. 90% understood the story and 80% could recollect it.

They were quizzed on difficult words and knew 80% of them. The others were explained to them with examples.

 

 

Picture Composition- The kids were shown a picture from Akbar-Birbal and had to write a story based on it.

80% of them wrote similar stories and lacked originality.

 

 

Activities and Analysis:

Monologue Activity: In this, the kids had to draw an object and then had to write a monologue personifying the object.

Initially the students were unable to think of anything to write, but with little help 60% were able to write fairly well.

Picture Sheet: In this, the students had to identify and write as many things and activities possible from a picture sheet.

75% of them were able to find 10 things/activities.

A dictation of 11 Hindi and 11 English words was given, out of which the maximum correct in English was 3 and that in Hindi was 8. 25% were still confused between श and स.

 

 

 

 

Activities and Analysis:

Find the Correct Spelling: In this a number of spellings of the same shabd were written on the board and the students had to tell the correct one.  Variation: 3-4 students would write different spellings of a word and then the others would find the correct one.

This activity was 90% successful in clearing their confusion and correcting their mistakes.

Play: The students were divided into 3 groups and each group was given a story to read. Each group had to prepare a play on their story.

The students were unable to improvise by putting dialogues but were able to depict the story.

 

Discussion: We had a brief discussion about water, sources of water, pollution, types of pollution, causes of pollution and how we stop pollution.

90% of the student had something to say about each of the topics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actvities and Analysis:

Essay on Water ( Homework): Only 30% of them had written on their own, the others had either taken help from parents or copied from some book. Thus, giving Homework was not very successful.

Hindi Shabd on Board: In this, the students were given a shabd and then in a clockwise order were given a chance to come and write it on the board. The one to write the maximum correctly won.

Water and Water Cycle: After a brief discussion about water and water cycle, a video on the same was shown to them. 70% of them understood all the processes involved and could also recall them later on.

Worksheet on Water: A worksheet on sources of water and reuse of water was given. All of them could do the first part correctly whereas 40% could do the second part correctly.

 

 

 

 

This was followed by a drawing competition on “Save Environment, Save Nature”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Students were given .a theme (like nature, animals, haunted) and they had to prepare a play on that. The students enjoyed the activity and participated enthusiastically.

 

Then we took a dictation of English words.

Note : We took a dictation of 10 words out of which average score was 5.

 

Then we did Hindi book reading of 9 students out of which 2 students were weak. So, we aimed at improving their reading skills.

 

 

We divided the kids into groups of 3 and then gave them pictures about which they had to write a story in Hindi. We found various mistakes of matrays, tenses and words(like sh,sa mei,mai) in their stories.

We told them to write a story as a part of their homework.

We also gave them 11 pairs of words for match the following in English which was related to General Knowledge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A B
COMPUTER TENNIS
KACHRA DELHI
GREH PRODYOGIKI
ADHIKAR GANTANTRA DIVAS
PRANAB MUKHERJI RASTRAPATI
SANIA MIRZA PRODUSHUN
15 AUGUST RAVINDRA NATH TAGORE
26 JANUARY SWATANTRA SENANI
RASTRAGAAN PRITHVI
BHAGAT SINGH SMANTA
BHARAT KI RAJDHANI SWATANTRA DIVAS

 

 

Note : Average was 5.5 . 15 out of 18 students score above 5.5 and 2 students score below 5.5 .

Students were given a proper structure of how to write an essay/story( title, starting, content, conclusion, moral).

Followed by reading session for remaining 9 students out of which 4 students were weak in reading long words and matra.

 

Students were then engaged in  a discussion on gender equality, fundamental rights. There were a lot of stereotypes against gender divide. And then asked to write an essay on what do they think about gender inequality, as a part of their homework.

There were many boys who thought that boys were superior to girls. There were many arguments presented like girls are not a part of forces, they are under- confident, they do household work.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activities and Analysis:  ‘HAPPY IS DEAD’

 

Students were made to learn five new words

WORDS SYNONYMS
HAPPY JOYOUS
SAD UPSET
TOUGH DIFFICULT
IMPORTANT VITAL
ENERGY ZEAL

Students were asked to frame a sentence using each word and replace it with the synonyms.

While correcting the homework on gender inequality it was observed that the answers were quite stereotypical and copied.

 

Then we had another activity, where we asked them to draw an object, colour it and write a monologue.

[BUS, WATCH, BAG, CAR – COMMON] {FLAG, BANGLE, TV, DOLL – INTERESTING}.

Then we played NAME, PLACE, ANIMAL, THING so, as to see how quickly the students could respond and write and also we aimed at enhancing their vocabulary.

 

 

 

 

 

Continuation of “HAPPY IS DEAD” by adding 5 more new words.

WORDS SYNONYMS
DREAM ASPIRE
TIRED EXHAUSTED
CAREFUL CAUTIOUS
LUCK FORTUNE
FAST QUICK

 

We gave them examples and we ask them about the meaning of each and every word and also asked them to frame a sentence using each word.

We again began with the debate on gender inequality. There were a lot of differences that are pointed out by students but we were, at the end, able to convince them that no particular gender is superior to the other and success depends on one’s capability.

For the last day we assigned each and every student a particular role in a play, to be performed during the last day.

According to our analysis of the previous 5 days, we could see an upward sloping progressive graph of each child.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last  day at Abhilasha Academy.

In the first half of the session, students prepared their activities.

Then they presented whatever we had done in the past 6 days infront of the Principal of the school and infront of students of class 6th and 8th.

Students presented a play “ANDHER NAGRI, CHOPAT RAJA”. Most of the students acted in this play, which showed almost 100% participation of the class.

2 students KAMAL AND JATIN presented a talk on whatever Kitaab Program had covered in past 6 days.

The girls and boys gave a dance performance on a kumaouni song.

We ended the session by sharing our experience and expressing gratitude towards teachers.

Also we conducted a drawing competition for class 6th and 8th on the occasion of WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY and the theme was SAVE ENVIROMENT, SAVE NATURE.

It was a resourceful and happening day and a good revision was done by class 7th.

 

 

 

 

Observations

We observed that the students in Abhilasha Academy were particularly bright and aware of their surroundings, these children needed little impetus in discussions about local politics, women empowerment and Indian heritage. However, despite critical thinking skills, these children lacked the ability to write well. Most children in class 6th,7th,8th were extremely opinionated and knowledgeable but they could never express these thoughts in English. As for Hindi, the students boasted of an extensive vocabulary as well as exemplary reading skills. Sadly, their enunciation was affected by a lisp in the sounds ‘s’ and ‘sh’, ‘duh’ and ‘dhu’, ‘ay’ and ‘ae’. These careless mistakes also reflected in their spelling mistakes. Besides preliminary knowledge of English and Hindi, the kids were imaginative and creative, they were also extremely competitive and curious.

 

Activities

With the children in Abhilasha, we focused on increasing their English vocabulary and finessing their Hindi. For English, we used activities that would inspire them to think in English. The first activity apart from reading of story books was  ‘happy is dead’ where we replace simple English words with slightly better ones like happy-elated. We taught them the meanings and usage of a total of fifteen words. Next, we did an activity where I told them to draw an object and write from the perspective of that object. This activity served two purposes- children wrote original material in English, and in writing about inanimate objects they also wrote in first person as the object itself, letting go of their restricting ability to only use simple sentences when talking about themselves. For the rest of the days we used vocabulary quizzes, spelling bees, essay writing, drawing competitions and pictorial comprehension in class. We also focused on correcting common mistakes in English—are-our, their-there, they-them, me-I, us-we, etc.

In Hindi, our focus was limited because of the children’s competency levels. I focused on increasing vocabulary through modules, correcting aforementioned mistakes, usage of ‘mein’ and ‘main,’ punctuation and essay writing.

 

Results

We concluded our stint at Abhilasha Academy by testing their knowledge of spellings, word meanings, antonyms and synonyms where 15 out 16 children scored above 80%. As interesting and uplifting fact about this school is that the children here are very keen on reading books. We were astonished to learn that some children had read RL Stine-Blyton-Keene. Despite their knowledge of Hindi, they need to hone their writing skills. The setting up of Kitaab Kosh is going to be extremely useful to children.

 

 

 

Malaynath Public School, Didihat

(29.05.2017 – 05.06.2017)

 

Class 6th

The students were extremely enthusiastic and had a good command over Hindi. The strength was 22 students.

 

Day 1 to Day 3

We started off by testing the reading skills of the children and tried to understand how best to engage them as they were full of energy and easily lost interest.

 

Activities and Observation

Energizers- We started our day with energy boosting activities as students would open up.

 

Story Presentation-We distributed copies of a book by Ruskin Bond and asked children to read the story in groups and present it a manner they would like best.

This was a successful activity as the students enthusiastically put up different kinds of skits. This ensured comprehension of the story.

We also worked on the difficult words they had encountered in the story.

 

 

Short Stories- Short stories of Akbar and Birbal were read in the class. Students could easily relate to the stories as all of them had some moral teaching. It was also easy to keep students interested in short stories.

This improved their reading and listening skills as each student was asked to individually read out loud in front of the class.

 

Writing Activities- Students were asked to draw any inanimate object and colour it in. They were then told to write a paragraph from the perspective of the object they had drawn. Students drew objects such as houses, watch, dolls and wrote extremely beautiful paragraphs.

This worked on their creativity and led to out of the box thinking.

 

Identification of writing mistakes- Through these activities we were able to identify where the children faced difficulties while writing. They were confused between certain words such as “main” and “mein”

We made them write sentences with all the words they earlier found confusing.

 

 

 

DAY 4, 5 and 6

 

Comic Making- We distributed a sheet with a lot of characters made on they and asked the students to fill in thought and speech bubbles above them.

This helped with their articulation and also led to creative thought. Students thoroughly enjoyed this activity and also brought some humour into it while practicing their writing skills.

 

Summary Writing- We distributed a book called “Antim Ticket” and asked students to read it and write a summary based on their understanding of the story.

We worked on their comprehension, identified important parts of the story and also improved their writing skills through this.

 

Book Making- We asked students to write a short story and also illustrate the story therefore creating a book. Students enjoyed this activity and actually wrote some good story lines.

This gave them the confidence to write and create whatever they wanted to.

Students also presented a skit as we felt this was an activity they enjoyed and it really helped students to come out of their shells.

 

 

 

 

READING

 

DAY 7

We culminated the programme with a movie screening of The Lion King. Students were asked to write a description of their favourite character.

They were shown half the movie and also asked to write what they thought would be an appropriate ending. This method of story prediction worked on their creativity and writing skills.

A programme was also put up for the teachers to display the new found confidence and motivation in children

Comic makingCOMIC MAKING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We felt that the children responded most to dramatics. They keenly read stories and understood them to put up skits in front of the entire class.

 

This increased their-

  • Comprehension skills
  • Listening ability
  • Reading skills
  • Confidence

 

 

Class 7th

 

Reading and  Writing

Story     The Rabbit in the Moon  (Tulika)

Students read the story and can comprehend it easily. During discussion students share their views on how water shouldn’t be wasted. A set of pointers was given to them on which they had to share their views and knowledge and later write about them.

Main purpose of this activity was that they share their views in front of the class. 23% of them were shy when it came to speaking in front of others.

Word Antakshri

We played word antakshri for a while and they keep on telling someone’s name and so we stopped. When i said you can’t say a noun they got it. They knew what is noun and still doing the same mistake.

Word Writing                

For this activity , I used chakmak magazine . I showed them a picture and from that they had to write words  starting from hindi akshar “n”.

This proved to be a very helpful activity in improving their vocabulary.

Observations

Students were aware of the environmental problems we are facing now a days.

They understand the text better when illustrations are provided.

They were very competitive and want to write more words than their classmates.

They don’t know when to use “choti e” and when to use “badi e” .

They are confused about the uses of akshar “s” and “sh”.

 

           

Monologue Writing

Students were asked to draw a non-living object and write a paragraph from object’s point of view.

 

Monologue Writing Analysis

All the girls drew dolls for their monologue writing, boys wrote about computers, sun, earth etc.

47% of them had the correct sentence formation and decently used matras.

Students were eager to participate in taboo chits; however they used same explanation for a word again and again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Play – Act

Each student wrote one of their favourite carton/ movie character on chits. We formed three teams and the chits were distributed randomly among them. They all made a story of those characters and act it out.

Ending Ceremony

Students were happy to perform their favourite poem “khhonte m daal” in the ceremony. Girls also prepared a dance performance on their own for the ceremony.

Analysis

Students improvement can be seen easily while they performed. They make stories which had doraemon and bahubali as characters. They were very creative.

They liked participating in most of the activities and so they remember what they had learnt during the sessions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class  8 th

Books Used

 

 

  • Eidgah by Premchand : Read aloud in front of the class by every student.
  • Vikram and Betaal : Read in groups of two and explained in front of the class by each group.
  • 51 short stories by Premchand : Read in the groups of two and explained in front of the class by each group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Activities, Sessions & Discussions Carried Out :-

 

  1. Story Writing : This conventional activity was carried out with a small change, wherein they had to use the two objects/characters they traced on stencil drawings.

Skills Tested – Creativity and Imagination, Hindi Writing.

 

  1. Preparing a Skit : This was a group activity where kids had to prepare a skit wherein their characters were pre-decided which were their favourite cartoon characters/characters from their favourite stories. The challenge was to build up a storyline using all the different characters they chose such as doraemon (a famous cartoon character) or cunning fox (a famous character from panchtantra stories). The class was divided into two groups and boys and girls were made to work together in one team which they hesitated.

 

Skills Tested – Team Work, Imagination, Public Speaking, Confidence.

 

  • Monologue Writing : Because more than 50% of the class was observed to have a restrictive thinking, therefore this individual activity was conducted to see how much unconventionally can these kids think if pushed. The kids were asked to write a monologue from the point of view of a non-living object chosen by them. This activity was also used to emphasize on use of sense of humour while writing.

 

Skills Tested – Creativity & Imagination, Hindi Writing.

 

  1. Pronunciation and Writing Session : As this class did the most common mistakes of pronunciation and Hindi writing, this session was conducted to clear their doubts and provide them a better understanding of the vowel signs of Hindi.

 

Things focused on – sounds and letters of ‘sa’ & ’sha’, ‘da’, ‘dha’ & ‘rdha’, ‘ta’ & ‘ttha’ , use of nukhta and correct usage of every vowel sign.

 

 

 

  1. Gender Equality & Women Empowerment Discussions : These discussions were conducted seeing the very noticeable under confidence in the girls and an unfriendly rapport between boys and girls. Two sessions were conducted for boys and girls separately and then they were asked to write if there was gender equality around them and should there be any.

 

Achievements – Boosted up confidence in girls and a better rapport between boys and girls.

 

 

  1. Fundamental Rights Session : Carrying forward from the discussion of gender equality and picking up from Premchand’s short story ‘Thakur ka kuan’, a discussion on caste system, the class was informed about six fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution to its citizens. The whole class prepared a skit on the use of our fundamental rights titled ‘Hamare Adhikaar’ and everyone performed very well in it.

 

 

 

  1. Other helpful Games :-  Some small games and activities helped to widen their imagination, increase their vocabulary and tested their ability to follow up in the class. These included Origami, Tangram and Name, Place, Animal, Thing. To all these games, the response from the kids was very positive and participative.

 

 

  1.  Student-wise Abilities Observed :- These abilities were recorded over the 7 day period of each student individually. This graph shows the relative amount of these abilities as of on the last day.

 

 

 

  1. Comments & Leads :-

Things that need more work –

  • Hindi Tenses
  • English Writing Skills
  • Enunciation & Pronunciation

The students grasp easily and are very bright. Some more brushing of the skills can prove a lot of helpful for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VIDYA SAGAR PUBLIC SCHOOL

VIDYA SAGAR PUBLIC SCHOOL (DAY – 1)

Class 6th

Activities and Observations

  • We were started our session with a different type of introduction to open up with students. They had to write their Name, favourite colour, favourite game, favourite cartoon and favourite food on a paper. All the students enjoyed this ice-breaking session and more than 15 students are opened up but still there were some students who were still shy.
  • We gave them a topic (memorable vacations) and told them to write on it in Hindi. All the students made mistakes in spellings, tenses, and faced problems with pronunciations which affected their spellings (eg- difference between “sh” and “s”)
  • A bilingual book was introduced in class and the students displayed good reading skills in both Hindi and English.
  • A picture book was shown in class and students were asked to write a story in English, this made us aware of their misunderstanding of tenses and poor spellings.

MAIN OBSERVATIONS

 

Literal translation of Hindi sentences to English sentences was problematic

 

Lack of knowledge of grammar and its rules

 

Low vocabulary

 

DAY – 2

  • We started working on tenses. Students were well versed with only 3 simple tenses- Past, Present and Future. They were unable to decipher the use of
    past continuous, simple present, present continuous, future indefinite and future continuous.
  • To tackle this issue, students were asked to write two sentences for all tenses and convert them to different tenses.
  • This activity was successful and at least 18/22 students had a clear understanding of tenses after this session.
  • Concept of helping verbs was also introduced in the class. An activity on articles was also conducted. While students knew the English articles, they were unable to use them. The correct use of The, An and A was taught.
  • We concluded the day with a quiz as we saw that and competitive activity resulted in increased participations. A Hindi to English quiz really got the children to participate.

DAY – 3

  • As it was the last day, nothing new was introduced. Through some word activities and writing assignments we worked on concepts like tenses and sentence construction.
  • A worksheet was also completed in class. Questions on articles, tenses and verbs were asked.
  • At the end of the session, we distributed rewards in the form of stickers among the students to improve their confidence and motivate them.

 

 

CLASS: 7TH

DAY 1

STRENGTH: 10

On day 1, the students of Vidya Sagar Public School were engaged with a number of activities in order to gauge their understanding and find out the weak points that require more focus.

Activities and Observations

Hindi Writing– After telling the kids about my experience in Didihatt, they were asked to pen down their most memorable trip/vacation.    90% of the kids were able to write fairly well. 80% had a problem with the usage of चन्द्रबिन्दु , about 40% had a confusion between मैं and में and none was aware of the nuktas used in common akshars like  ज़ .

Reading– The book “Growing Up with Trees” by “Ruskin Bond” was introduced to the kids and turn by turn they had to read one paragraph each.

80% of them were able to tell the title and author of the book. With an exception of one, the others were able to read. Their reading was monotonous, lacked expressions and enunciation and their pronunciation was weak. None were able to comprehend the story as the language was difficult for them.

Picture Composition– The kids were shown a picture from the book “Growing Up with Trees” and had to make a story on it.

The students could comprehend the picture but were unable to express it in English. There are three major problems with written English,

Literal translation of hindi sentences to English sentences

Lack of knowledge of grammar and its rules

Low vocabulary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 2:

Strength: 9

Activities and Analysis:

  1. Session on Nouns
  2. Session on Articles
  3. Session on Tenses- Simple and Continuous
  4. Session on Helping Verbs

 

 

 

 

Understanding of the topics covered- Understanding vs Number of Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

DAY 3

STRENGH: 9

SHEET(S): Worksheet on Sentence Formation, Articles and continuous and participle form of Verb.

  • Revision of Nouns, Tenses, Articles and helping verbs.
  • Introduction of Conjunctions

Worksheet-Analysis

 

SUGGESTIONS:

  1. A 15 days Programs  divided into two segments :
  2. Basic Grammar Program
  3. Reading Program
  4. Introduction of grammar books for practice.
  5. Activities with include use of grammar or making of sentences.
  6. Peer to Peer learning Activities
  7. Introduction of English books with easy language and short stories. (Growing up with tress was difficult for them to comprehend).

 

 

 

 

Class 8th

DAY 1

Activities and Observations

The children at Vidyasagar are a contrary lot, though their English vocabulary and spellings were as good as any public school in Delhi, they don’t know the meaning of any of these words.

Students were asked to write a few paragraphs in English on generic topics. This brought a few problems to our notice-

  1. They were unable to construct proper sentences due to faulty understanding of grammar.
  2. They knew multiple English words but failed to understand their usage.
  3. Their knowledge of tenses and verbs was entirely lacking.

Day 2

  • The session was started with a crash course in grammar. The basic rules and information was given to the students. The effect of grammar on spoken English was explained to students.
  • Homonyms and homophones were explained in class. Sentence construction using different words was done.
  • Students were asked to write an essay after everything had been explained.

 

Day 3

Discussion on subject-object-predicate, punctuation, nouns, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, and adjectives, simple and continuous tenses took place.

Simple fill in the blanks, quizzes and translation exercises were conducted to test how much students had understood.

Results

Some of the children were able to retain what was taught, however, due to the short duration of the project, we couldn’t ensure maximum success. The children at Vidyasagar have a hollow and superficial understanding of English, they need reading and writing programs. Moreover, the children here do not read books and need to be encouraged in that department.

 

 

 

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