Usually my motto is not to make very moment a learning moment. Children need down time and nonsense moments and it truly contributes to their development. But I have also observed that at times they do show inclination to certain subjects and it is hard for me to ignore these signs. Warli art is one such sign.
We read Tara’s Beasts Of India early this year. Since then, I repeatedly saw in my children’s drawings Warli inspired cows, girls holding hands and dancing. Personally I was pretty taken with the concept of community highlighted by the Warli art and that I can convey a message with my meager illustrations skills gave me immense kick. I even wrote and illustrated for my girls a book in Tamil language based on Warli art!
All these inspirations combined with Praba’s suggestion about book extensions for CROCUS 2010 has given birth to Saffron Tree’s initiative to highlight teaching aids based on books by Indian publishers and Indian art form.
As a teacher in a preschool in California, one gets to experience the wonderful resources that are available for teachers to prepare lesson plans. In India, the scenario is different. Though slowly changing, I felt that there is a significant disconnect between the world of children’s books and curriculum. Children’s books are at times strictly viewed as something children do in their spare time and that curriculum always gets first priority. In reality, with publishers coming out with high quality children’s books, lot of these books can be seamlessly incorporated in a classroom.
The resource booklet has two activity ideas.
The first activity idea is in the area of fine motor control. From my experience I have found that schools in India place lot of importance on early writing skills and the teachers can be particular about the ‘neatness’ of a pupil’s work. But I have also observed that not much is done when a child has difficulty achieving the fine motor control required to hold a pencil. Children are expected to write. If they can’t get it right, they write some more. That is the way it has always been. The Warli mobile is a preschool activity that stresses the importance of the hand eye coordination and fine motor control.
Couple of years back when I toured some schools in Chennai, some preschool teachers were kind enough to meet with me to answer some of my questions for a research paper I was writing. One concern they expressed was the reluctance their children showed to speak in English in the classroom. As a Tamil language teacher in California, I observed that the children in my classroom were able to read and write in Tamil fairly well, but would jump through hoops to avoid making a conversation in Tamil. This was the inspiration for the language card activity DO! A Sentence.
The activities are fairly self explanatory with curriculum area, age range, execution time, aim, expected outcomes, preparation steps etc.
I hope you all enjoy it. Whether you are a parent or a teacher or a book publisher, please do leave comments. That is the only way we can gauge what is required and improve the quality of our material.
(The flow chart in the scribd embed below is not working. Please click on the WarliLessonPlanFinal link you see to view the full lesson plan on scribd.com)
You are welcome to download the lesson plan, provided you give credit to the original source.