Monthly Archives: August 2017

Kirigami and Origami

We had a visitor named Ravi Alugnati a very respected resource person in Math and Science languages and also does puppetry hands on activities. He showed us some of the things he had built in Kirigami We made different shapes both in Kirigami(cutting paper) and Origami(olding paper) with his guidance. The 8th and 9th graders of Udavi and some children in Isai Ambalam also enjoyed making different shapes. I found Origami little bit tougher than Kirigami as the steps to build a shape/object is more complex. I also got a feedback from him about my teaching when I was taking class for the 3rd graders in Isai Ambalam. The feedback was useful.

Kirigami : Ravi guiding the 9th graders in making a ball..

Origami : Fan, bird and a frog.. some objects we had made

Udavi 9th graders after finishing their ball

Isai Ambalam children working on kirigami

Isai Ambalam children working on kirigami

Some shapes we had made

Some shapes we had made

Ball made using 6 strips of paper

Balls made after cutting out three rectangular papers

Pebble Garden

Children from Isai Ambalam school went to visit Pebble garden. There he explained how to do mulching step by step. He explained how to do a bed and its size. First we have to collect dry leaves and branches. Then dip them in the water started to build a bed. Make a thin layer of with the dry leaves and add soil on top of the leaves. Do it for three time then add charcoal at the third layer. Again do the same process 4 time . Add charcoal in the 6  and 9 layer. After that he explained hoe to treat the charcoal. After doing mulching we have to wait for 2 month and then only we can use it for planting. Finally he explained the process of  vermiculture. It was an interesting trip to learn about mulching and about vermiculture.



Auro Orcharid – Gardening and Honey Bee’s

Naveen had planned a trip to Auro orchard with the isaiambalam school children. There were two groups. One were interested in the getting to know about the honey bees and the other on methods of bed techniques.

Uma Ramanan a member of the farm introduced us to Auro Orchard, the first farm designed to sustain Aurovilles people back in time.

The day started by looking at raised bed technique and types of vegetables that they have grown.

Children were able to seen how much the production had increased due to the raised beds. (On an avg a turmeric plan can only produce 300gm of product but here they were able to collect up to few Kg)

The Papayas they have are not hybrid varieties the seeds can be used to grow new saplings.

This flower has medicinal values (kills germs and is antibiotic in nature) and are loved by honey bees as they grow through out the year.

Then came the honey bees, Uma explained that the bees are farmers most important friend as they are the major pollinators, and they don’t use them to collect honey in the farm. but recently a bee hive had vacated the trunk as it had over grown its population and moved out. Hence they had to empty the wax.


Then the children had a group discussion on the the life cycle of bees.

And at last they were able to see the bee hives that were in the farm 🙂 .


The children had a wonderful time, and are eager for another visit to the farm.


Soldering the battery connectors

7th graders of Udavi school were soldering the battery connectors with the header pins to use them on the bread board during their activity class. While soldering the connectors they learnt how to solder things and also learnt the names and the use of the components which they used for soldering. When they made some mistake they were able to de-solder it by themselves and corrected their mistake. They worked as team and helped each other to complete their task.

Pythagoras Theorem – Real Life Usage

I’m doing an EBD (Education By Design) with 7th and 6th graders. In order to understand the difficulty I showed them a building and asked them to draw an outline of it.


The building was polygonal in shape. They had a great time with that building and it had taught them a lot. For example – meter conversion, angles. At last them came up with its outline as shown in the figure.


Though it was small, it gave them some confidence and clarity on what they are trying to do.  We need to measure the length of a fence. But that was covered by plants,


On another day, we need to measure the length of a fence. But that was covered by plants, bushes and trees and it was not straight too. So it was little difficult to measure it. We had a discussion on how to go about it. I raised few questions every time they came up with some solutions to that situation. They realized every solution has its own drawback after analyzing it. So I thought that would be the perfect time to introduce the Pythagoras theorem for practical use.

I calculated the length of a tree without measuring it directly. They were amazed. They said that they want to know how I did it. I told them but it was little hard for them to understand as they didn’t know anything about square and square root.


I have used Dennis cubes to learn square, square root, cube and cube root. After that, I have used a simple and fast method the find out the square root. Children felt it was like a game and that went well too. using the Pythagoras theorem they measured that place height and base. With that, it was easy for them to find out the fence length.





They have used both measuring tape and distance meter.

Measuring Kitchen tank Volume in Isaiamabalam School

Children wanted to make a recycling water system to water the magic garden. We thought of using the waste water from the kitchen to water the plant since so much of water is daily used to wash the vessels, clean vegetables etc. To know the amount of water used daily for the kitchen we need to know the volume of the tank. Kavitha told that the volume of the kitchen tank was 2000 L.

To make sure of what we know already we measured the height and circumference of the cylindrical tank in order find the volume of the tank.

Measure height:

  • To measure the height of the tank we used a bamboo stick.
  • Children marked the height of the tank on the bamboo stick.

Measure Circumference to determine radius:

  • We used thread to know the circumference.
    Children took the thread around the circular shaped ring and marked on the thread.
  • The challenging part was we was not able to find the measuring tape. Then we came up with an idea to use the metre scale chiildren already used.

We found that the height of the tank was approx 3 m and Circumference to be around 3.14 m.

Through this we found out that the radius was half a meter.

Finally we found out that the tank volume was approximately 2355 L.

This might be an error with calculating the circumference of the circle because we found the distance outside the ring and not inside.

Measuring the circumference of the circle with the one meter scale and the left over part was measured using a 30 cm scale

From Left: Ajay, Gurumoorthy, Pravin, Kalai

Children measuring the length of the bamboo stick to measure the height of the tank. They used the same thread to measure the length. They marked 3 m on the thread in order to do this

Children calculating the volume of the tank