Project under: Dr. Kaushal Kumar Sharma
(Professor, Department of Geography, KiroriMal College, University of Delhi)
Number of Interns: 11
Details of Interns:
- Sneha Misran (President, Kitaab Club)
- Shabnam Rana (Project Head)
- Vikas Dhayal (Project Head)
- Iyce – KiroriMal College
- Siddharth – Vellore Institute of Technology
- Nirbhay – St. Stephen’s College
- Parag – Delhi College of Arts and Commerce
- Prasoon – Daulat Ram College
- Snehal – Miranda House
- Shashank – Ramjas College
- Tanvi – Jesus and Mary College
Duration: 1st June 2016 to 15th June 2016
Location: Secondary School, Deen Gaon, Tehri Garwal, Uttarakhand
Students Covered: Classes 5th to 8th
Number of Students Covered: 120≤
About Kitaab Club:
- Registered in 2015 under the Societies Registration Act 1860
- Kitaab (NGO) was started by a group of students in Hindu College, Delhi University with the aim of inculcating the “reading habit” amongst children and youth in India.
- A part of this concept involves using storybooks as an alternative learning technique at the primary and secondary school levels to generate literacy.
- The object is to make ample reading material available to children so that they are able to develop a strong vocabulary, comprehension and reading speed at an early age.
- The object is also realized through conducting regular workshops with children to coach them through developing a reading habit
- Kitaab has been conducting such workshops since 2014 across Delhi, Uttarakhand, Panjab, Odisha and Rajasthan.
Objectives and Methodology:
- Assess the level of the children in their ability to read and preferred language
- Begin the creation of a library with children’s books in Hindi and English
- Conduct reading sessions everyday with groups of children divided according to their age and reading ability
- Work on basic phonetics, letters, formation of words, ‘maatrayein in Hindi’ reading speed, comprehension etc
- Make use of multimedia, movies, songs, games, charts, graphs etc to explain concepts and keep the sessions exciting
- Conduct sessions on science, basic geography, hygiene, nutrition etc
- Organize ‘Baal Shabhas’, poetry competitions, annual function, drawing competition, writing competition etc with focus on maximum participation of children and opportunity to display talent
- Sessions with the parents of the children in order to explain the concept and discuss how they can encourage an atmosphere of learning at their homes
- Create a project report of each child throughout the duration of the program
Day by Day Plan:
D ay: 1
- The turnout was much better than expected.
- A total of 130 students turned up
- Students were divided in groups on the basis of their classes.
- 7 groups were formed in all ranging from Classes 5th to 9th
- Work began with all the volunteers playing games with their respective group of students outside the classrooms in order to make them comfortable
- A brief introduction of the kids were taken in which the kids were asked to speak their name, class and their village name. Some kids were too shy, specially the girls, as soon as they were asked something they started giggling and covering their faces.
- On the other hand boys were confidently introducing themselves.
- The oldest children prepared a skit. Directed by the story “Laalchi Magarmach”.
Observation: The students are extremely shy and refuse to speak out in front of their groups.
- We asked the students to introduce themselves in the assembly to develop self-confidence in them and remove hesitation.
- We began the second day with a recap of the story we read the previous day. Very few students were able to precisely describe the entire story. It was only when we dropped hints here and there, reminded them about the skit, that they were able to connect the dots.
- We then started off on our second story ‘Selfish Camel’ and had an oral round of question and answers on the same. The response was good.
- They were taught to not directly start reading but to read out the chapter no., page no. and chapter title first. The story which was done included animals so we asked them to act like that particular animal and to produce the voice as produced by that animal. The volunteers themselves acted like the animals to break the communication gap.
- The screening of The Jungle Book followed this. The movie was divided into two halves – only the first half was shown. All the students were hooked.
Observation: It was nice to see that the proportion of girls attending the program is higher than boys in Deen Gaon.
Most of the kids were still very shy.
- Today the kids arrived to school before time. The scheduled time was 10 but they started coming at 8:30 so we began our classes at 9. The assembly was done in the ground and after the assembly a small confidence building session was done in which kids were called randomly and were asked to say something about a given topic: about their favourite animal or about their family or about themselves. After this the kids dispersed to their respective classes.
- The students were asked what they saw in the movie yesterday. Specific questions were asked – Where they thought the movie was going/how it would end, etc in order to get them thinking. We witnessed a healthy response. Most of them enjoyed the screening and were eager to watch the remaining half.
- We played a vocabulary building game ‘Difficult Word’. The class was divided into two teams. Both teams had to make a list of 10 words which they thought were difficult and the other team had to explain the meanings of those words. This game turned out to be a big success and got all the students engaged in thinking.
- A separate group was formed for those kids who could not read. They were introduced with the basics were taught Hindi alphabets and various methods to differentiate between the alphabets.
- They were asked to pronounce the letters as loud as they can, a general knowledge of ‘Maatras’, how to pronounce ‘Maatras’ and how to use them.
- After this reading sessions were conducted. Using the same methods as the previous days
- We concluded the day with a game of ‘Sit-Stand’. One by one, as the students got out, we would ask the students to come forward and shout ‘Sit-Stand’ – this was observed as a confidence building measure for the students who were otherwise quite shy.
- We revised the letters and the story and then they all went outside to play ground games.
Observation: The children have started to get comfortable and are speaking in class. They have started asking for individual books.
- The kids arrived early as usual. The assembly and the physical exercise were done together. We started the class with the hindi letter game.
- Letters were written on the board and they had to identify them. By this they revised all the alphabets. Flash cards were used to teach them to read simple hindi words. We began with basic two letter words without ‘Matras’, then shifted to slightly bigger words of two-three letters. This method attracted the attention of the kids a lot as they had never seen flash cards before.
- A globe was distributed all over the class and the students were asked to find India in it after which a map of India comprising all the states and their capitals was distributed in the class for the all the students to observe and study it. This got all the students really excited and they continued examining the globe for a long time.
- They were taught about the concept of country, state, cities and villages. They were told about the different 29 states on India along with their capitals. The main focus was on Uttarakhand as it is their home state. Some of them have basic knowledge about Uttarakhand but most of them didn’t know about their state.
- Post the session on Geography, we invited the students one by one to come in front of the class and talk for a minute each on anything under the sun. This was done as a confidence building measure as well as to test how far they can think and continue talking.
- Except for a few students, the result was dismal as most of them were extremely shy and could not think of anything more to say except for their, their parents’ and villages’ name. This was despite constant prodding on our behalf.
- Following class, we had the ‘Baal Sabha’. Two of our students, Kalpana and Pooja, stood for elections of the Chairperson. Kalpana won the elections and was thus made chairperson. Some of our students narrated stories and danced.
- This way we explained the concept of voting. “Aadhyakshya” and “Sabhapati”
- This built a self confidence in them. Their performances were judged by the post holders and the winners were also chosen according to the combined scores.
Observation: Flash cards, charts and songs proved as great tool for education. After this exercise they were all able to identify the letters properly and some started reading small words. They only needed conceptual clarity.
Day 5: Sunday ( Off )
- Today, the turnout was low as expected because of rainfall. The children had gone to work in the fields
- We played a game in which we divided the classes into two teams A and B. One member of the team had to read a word from the book and member of other team had to write it on the black board. If the other team wrote correctly, the team would get a point
- We conducted a small talk session with the kids to boost their confidence. They were asked to come forward speak a few lines about their parents and family. This helped develop a thinking ability of the kids as we encouraged them to form sentences in their minds before speaking.
- The entire day was spent revising ‘Matras’ and the correct pronunciation of all the alphabets.
- They given homework to write three words using each ‘Matra’.
- The turnout was again poor because of rainfall.
- The students were given separate books and were asked to sit in different corners and come back only when they have understood the story.
- We divided the class into two groups and made the students guess possible developments and endings of a story by showing them story books having pictures. This was a grand success and all of them got their thinking caps on and speculated where the story was going and alternate endings.
- The screening of the second half of Jungle Book followed this.
- We followed this with a creative writing session. Everyone was asked to write a short story about anything. The students mostly wrote about the stories they had read so far.
- Encyclopaedias were distributed among the kids and the pictures of solar system and planets were shown to them. They were told about our galaxy, ‘Milky way’, planets, especially Earth, stars, Moon and Sun.
- They were explained the phenomenon of Day and Night and how seasons change.
- After the session a practical demonstration of Planets rotating and revolving around the sun was done in which each kid held a paper representing either a Planet or Sun. This helped them in better understanding the solar system.
- They were given comics which they enjoyed a lot as they were full of vibrant pictures.
Observation: To our surprise children up to class 9 did not have rudimentary knowledge of the solar system. Their academic state was quite disappointing. The children were not aware of basic concepts such as the cause of ‘day and night.’
Day 8 – Halfway through the program
- The students have started to pick out books on their own and read them. They are enjoying the stories and can observe a drastic change in their method of reading and level of concentration.
- The interns and students have formed a bond and the students are coming out with their problems, asking questions and actively taking part in class
- We visited the village today and spoke to the parents to encourage the children to pick up books for at least an hour every day.
Observation: The parents are very supportive of the entire concept and are eager to send their children. Working in the fields however remains a major obstruct against the students regularly attending school.
Day 9 – Drawing Competition
- We started the day with a surprise test – a revision of all the Geography we had done – India Map, Indian states and their capitals and neighboring countries. Surprisingly, the response was good. Most of the students had all we had taught them intact.
- We followed with our usual sessions of reading and comprehension.
- After reading, we hosted the much-awaited drawing competition.
- The students were divided into 3 groups and handed out crayons and sheets.
- The competition was a success and the children enjoyed the session.
Observation: There was a common trend to draw hills, a river, some trees and houses for all the students. However some of them were quite creative and displayed a lot of talent.
All the students pointed out that their favorite teacher in the school was the Art teacher.
- Session conducted on the human body, and personal hygiene.
- A general explanation of the body parts was given to them. We explained the internal and external body parts, the functions of the major body parts of the body and briefed about their working.
- We also explained cells, the general body structure, the different systems of the body, mainly digestive, circulatory and respiratory system etc. Later, they were explained the digestive system in detail, the organs constituting the system and their working and mechanism
- They were given different topics and asked to write about them and to bring it on the next day.
Observation: The reading capacity of the kids has increased. They can now read 3-4 letter words with ‘Matras’. As they get better at reading they have started to enjoy the story reading sessions a lot more.
Day 11- Poetry Recitation Competition
- We conducted a general knowledge quiz on all we had taught them so far – solar system, human body and Indian states and capitals.
- We decided it was now time to assess their writing abilities. We had a dictation in class and the performance of most children was extremely disappointing. Only few children did well. Their writing skills are exceedingly poor which is surprising in class 6.
- After the dictation we hosted a poetry recitation competition. A few children who were extremely shy were enthusiastic about participating in the poetry recitation competition.
- The Aadhyakshya and Sabhapati of the previous Bal Sabha were honoured and given prizes, then the poem recitation competition started. The kids participated with full enthusiasm. Some sang songs and some even gave speeches.
- The competition was judged by the interns and at the end the result was announced according to the combined scores of the three. The prizes were given accordingly. The prizes of Drawing competition were also given and the Anchors(Kids) were also given consolation prizes.
Day 12 – Sunday
- Practise began for the final day celebration
- The children are very enthusiastic about performing in skits
- Each group is also preparing a dance on children’s songs.
- It had rained on the previous day, so the no of kids was less. After the usual assembly the kids went to their respective classes
- We first distributed books among kids and asked them to read any story from the book. The kids sat separately holding a book and read the stories. As the kids completed the story we asked them to derive the conclusion of the story and also asked them to summarize it in their own words.
- We focused on writing ability and gave them repeated dictations followed practising how to sound out words and write them phonetically.
- Then we practiced for the final day.
- The second last day was invested in two things –
- Firslty we revised all the things that had been taught to them in the previous The Indian Map, Water cycle, solar system and Human body and different systems. Along with this we also revised all they stories which they had read in the previous days.
- The Kids remembered all the things by heart. They answered all our questions. This time the kids narrated the story with the morals.
- After this we revised all the ‘Maatras’. We revised alphabets, words, tables, poems and songs too.
- We gave them a dictation of about 20 words and most of kids scored between 13-17. They now knew about the usage of ‘Maatras’.
- After this we all did a final practice for the final day celebrations. The kids practiced dances and songs.
- Four kids were selected for the anchoring. We helped them with the script and taught them tricks for engaging the audience.
- Secondly, in practice. Next day was the last day and a lot of our students were participating in the annual day. Some got busy practicing for comparing, the combined dance and others with our dance.
Observation: The children can now read Hindi properly although some of them still have a little difficulty in pronouncing words with compound letters but they will overcome this with continuous reading.
- It was raining heavily since 5 am. Everyone was skeptical whether we would be able to organize the function properly. But as luck would have it, the students arrived dripping wet but on time.
- The function started, the anchoring was done by the kids. The dances were amazing. The songs, poems, and speeches were fantastic. They were all praised by the T.H.D.C staff.
- After all the performances The managers gave a thanking speech and thanked the staff and the kids for their co-operation.
- The children were given refreshments and group pictures were also clicked. The kids were also awarded for their outstanding performances.
- On this day the internship culminated in a spectacular showcase with the children performing with full zeal and confidence. It was a heartwarming feeling.