Category Archives: Fun with Stories
We love the fact that today many publishers are working actively towards promoting children’s books in regional languages. At The Story Palce, we are keenly working at incorporating Hindi and Marathi books (Tulika and Pratham Books) in our storytelling sessions, and building lesson plans around them.
As part of our research, I picked up a Marathi story today, and tried it out with big A. Since we live in Mumbai, Maharashtra, she has been exposed to a fair share of Marathi through the house help at home. The help has been speaking Marathi to my daughter since three years now, so big A has a good understanding of the language and can speak Marathi well (better than me).
This morning’s story was “The Thirsty Crow” in Marathi, a story that we have all heard as children. I read the story slowly, explaining each part as I read it. The illustrations in the book were very simple and helped a great deal in understanding the sequence of events in the story.
After the story was over, I asked her, if it was really possible to bring up water in a pot by putting stones in it. She just shrugged her shoulders. It made me think, that as a child I too had heard this story, but I never ever thought of finding out if the pebble thing worked. So, here was a chance to satisfy my curiosity and my daughter’s too.
We went to the kitchen, and filled little water in a glass. I told her to pretend that she was a crow, and to try drinking the water by putting her mouth in the glass. Since the water level was low, she couldn’t reach the water. So, we decided to do what the crow did. We collected some stones and put them in the glass. Slowly, slowly, the water rose up in the glass, and eventually it reached the top. The little pretend crow could drink it and satisfy her thirst!
I explained that the stones occupied space at the bottom of the glass, and pushed the water up. Later, we discussed what we (humans) would do in such a situation, one option was to lift the glass with our hands and drink water, and the other was to use a straw and suck up the water.
Who ever thought that a simple story could be so so so much fun!
If you have read children’s stories in regional languages, then do share your recommendation list with us.
As a child, Social Studies was not one of my favourite subjects. And that’s probably because our textbooks stated facts in a plain manner and no one really explained the importance/relevance of learning about places and cultures.
My kids are still small, but I already have ideas on how to make Geography interesting for them (without letting them know). Sharing my ideas with you…
- The world map – Each year we travel to some place (India or abroad) during summer vacations – it’ll be a good idea to have kids do some research about the destination they will be visiting, and create their own tour guide. As an after activity, they can create a photo album about their visit to the place and also write about their holiday.
- Stories – Stories are a wonderful resource to learn about people and culture. As children read books, have them write a short report about the location (non-fictional) where the story was set – the report can include list of interesting places mentioned in the story, lifestyle, culture and any other features.
- Music – They say music knows no boundaries – today thanks to satellite radio and television, we have access to channels that play different world music. Have children select a music theme/type/genre and find out its origin and how culture of a place impacts the music
- Food – This is my favourite category. Each time you take your kids out to a specialty restaurant, ask them to read the items on the menu. They can select 2-3 items and do some research to find out the origin of the food – right from where the crop is produced to which country the dish belongs to.
I hope you find these useful, and if you like them, do write back and let me know, so I am encouraged to write more. And yes, if you can think of any other ideas, please share them too.