Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Mohua’s CASW Presentation

I have always looked forward to hearing from Mohua. One of those rare people who state their mind fearlessly. She spoke with her large world map in the background. Almost five foot by six foot in dimension. Dark coloured chart outlined with the five continents scripted in white. The idea was brilliant. To chart the routes of the explorers using pop-ups. A marriage between art, sea faring, geography, spices, culture, people……a great matrix for integration. I actually visualised myself being rolled around on those ancient ships in the high seas looking for new land, new people, new trade routes and new life altogether. She gave a crisp background to describe her scenario. With a sense of disappointment she put forward her key questions.

The key questions

What could have been done differently to get the children to apply principles of art and DT more effectively?Would assessing application of skills have led to more motivation on their part?

My Responses and Reflections
To me just the process of tracing the routes of different explorers would have presented the learners with wonderful learning opportunity. Learning would have definitely happened. The learners would have walked back with a greater understanding of world geography. They probably are better prepared now to understand the problems faced by explorers of that age.

I saw one problem immediately, with the lesson described by Mohua. It was a long-drawn exercise. Such exercises usually fizzle out due to scattering of focus. Activities always succeed, if they do not prolong beyond three 90 minute blocks (especially because we are dealing with age group 10-12 years.

Some of the suggestions that I had in mind were:
-Give credits/points to greater diversity and numbers of pop-ups per group.
-As a preview of the activity, a movie on any one of the explorers would have warmed up the class to the activity in a better frame.
-A visit to a monument or a museum where artefacts from the esplorers’ time is exhibited.
-Have conversations with the learners to trace their roots, and identify if any explorer had at some point visited their native places.
-Looking at plants brought in by explorers.

Mr Amarnathan beautifully tied the thread by summarising Mohua’s presentation and analysis of the group. To me it was a brief travel to the explorer’s time line.


Blogger Tara Kini said...

It is interesting how each CASW presentation leads to such a different spontaneous response form each of the members an even with the same group, produces such a difference in mood and the kind of energy from one meeting to the next!

3:38 AM  

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