Standard VIII goes back in time

Thanks to High School History teacher Vahbiz Dhalla for sharing this with the school blog. 

Standard VIII students have been looking at the  impact of British Rule on Indian Architecture. Students were asked to form groups and each group picked up a chit which had different Architectural Styles written on them. The students then researched  their chosen style: Rajput, Islamic, French, British and Portuguese.

This research culminated in a chart which they then presented to their peers before displaying them outside their class.

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Students also went on a Mumbai Heritage walk to see the different styles of Architecture and the impact left behind by the British on Architecture. The walk started at the majestic steps of the Asiatic Library. During the walk they were able to identify many features that they had researched in the earlier activity. Some of them even created maps enroute -showing the path of the Heritage Walk.

After returning to school they shared their learning and were shown some old pictures of Bombay.

When was the last time you took a walk through Mumbai’s historic Fort Area and admired the buildings?

 

Agriculture comes alive for students

- Prachi Ranadive

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Prachi teaches classes 9 and 10 in Shishuvan. She is the Head of the Social Studies department and the Head of the High School. This article first appeared on www.teacherplus.org

 

The most frustrating thing for me as a geography teacher is having to teach geography inside a classroom! Although I am aware that it is impractical for us to ensure that students learn about nature in nature all the time, it is definitely worth it to make an attempt wherever possible.

I wish to share a success story with you. Soil, irrigation, and agriculture are three major topics in class 10. Most students do not study agriculture (as per the ICSE board, students can attempt any 5 questions out of 9 for their exams. Each topic is one question. This gives them scope to not learn some topics) as they find it difficult to remember or analyze related factual data. I strongly believe that these three topics are not in the curriculum just for scoring marks. Students need to learn them to understand ecology and society. Knowledge of these subjects is a window to reality.

In my attempt to conceive new teaching strategies for my class, I spoke with Ms. Michelle Chawla, founder member of Tamarind Tree, a charitable trust based in Dahanu, Maharashtra. At Tamarind Tree they practice non chemical farming, and our students of class 4 visit them three times a year to experience sowing, transplanting, and harvesting of paddy. Realizing this would be useful for the older children too, we organized to take students of class 9 to their farm, once in December and then in June. The first step was identifying the outcomes from the EVS and geography curriculum related to soil, irrigation, and agriculture. Michelle worked on the outcomes which will bring to the notice of students the contemporary and traditional issues of the Warli community which practices agriculture in Dahanu.

The curriculum chalked out for the visit was based on sustainable agriculture, which teaches children their moral obligation to be caretakers and stewards of the finite resources of our planet. This visit was also meant to sensitize the children to the challenges faced by rural communities and give them first-hand experiences to enhance their understanding of the concepts related to soil, irrigation, natural vegetation, and fertilizers. We also looked at other subjects and tried to make this an integrated learning module.

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Getting to know our neighbours

This year Shishuvan will be looking at the world around it with eyes wide open as things taken on a global perspective.

Across the school, teachers and students are busy learning about what life is like outside India. And in true Shishuvan style, the range is sweeping. Taking cues from their curriculum the children are exploring subjects like endangered animals, transportation and plants with a global lens fitted to their telescopes.

This week, the students of Standard IV were invited by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka to visit the embassy. This is the first time the Sri Lankan embassy has had students visit them on a field trip, and were very impressed with the decorum and discipline of the young Shishuvanites.

Jignasa Bham, IV standard teacher was one of the teachers who accompanied the students.

“The Consulate General and staff of the embassy were very warm and soft spoken, living up to the name Sri Lankans have of being kind and friendly. The embassy had gone to great lengths to prepare for the students’ visit. The staff patiently explained to the children about the culture, language, religious practices, cuisine and  festivals of the country.”

The students viewed an AV that showcased the music and dance heritage of the Emerald Isle and also looked at the major tourist attractions of the country. A photography exhibition and a display of vibrant, handcrafted wooden masks and traditional lamps completed the tour.

“Though this was a very different kind of field trip, the children really enjoyed themselves. They raised many questions that impressed the Embassy staff and listened intently to the answers given. The children all received a handbook about Sri Lanka at the end of the visit.” Jignasa shared.

Follow up activities are planned  in music, dance and art and craft.