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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
3rd graders and 5th graders went for a walk around the botanical garden in Auroville. Sathiyamoorthy was guiding us.
Prathap and myself were along with the children. We started with a circle and Sathiyamoorthy gave a brief introduction about what the children should do and the type of plants they were expected to see around the Botanical garden. He was basically telling about 4 types of plants.
- Epiphytes (Plants that has the roots outside the soil.)
- Xerophytes (Plants that grow in dry areas. (Eg., Cactus))
- Semiphytes (Plants that grow in land.)
- Parasites (Plants that grow on other plants and trees.)
- Hydrophytes (Plants that grow in fresh water.)
- Halophytes (Plants that grow in salt water. Note: These types of plants are not there in Auroville Botanical garden)
Then the children went around and Sathiyamoorthy explained about the plants. He talked about the survival techniques, leaf structure and mainly names of the trees and plants.
Children played a maze game. A garden with a maze structure was built there. Children enjoyed getting lost and finding the paths. Children also reflected at the end of the session.
In Isai Ambalam prayer hall two tube light were not working. One student asked how to fix it. Then all the student wanted to learn how to fix a tube light. So we started how current flows in a closed loop. Using the tester we showed how to check the plug point. We wrote the parts that are present in a tube light connection. We explained the function of each part . Then they drew the circuit connection in their note book. Next we removed the tube light and started checking the circuit connection. We found that the choke in the tube light didn’t work. We replaced a new choke in the same frame and it worked. Then in our school library the tube light didn’t work.
In Isai Ambalm school 4th and 5th grader were building a simple circuit to check the water level in their school tank. Initially we started to do it in a water bottle. We used LED to check the water level. Suddenly student started to ask every time we need to watch the LED continuously. Then we started discussing what to do and how to improve. While discussing one student told we can use a buzzer which will indicate us once the tank is full. Then we started using buzzer. When the circuit was completed children took took responsibility to fix it from the tank to the motor box. Children were excited and shared their work. Each one gave their suggestions in a group. Finally all agreed to take the wire from one tree to other till they reached the school tank. The wire that we bought had many knots. One group decided to remove knots from the wire. Some students climbed the tree to tie the wire . Then I climbed the tank and fixed the wire in the tank. Then we turned on the motor and waited for the buzzer to give sound. When the tank got filled the buzzer was giving sound. So the water level indicator works. Teachers and students in our school were excited. It was a good experience to work with children. When the teacher asked many question the student answered correctly and explained the concept properly without mistake.
First the class started with how many plants 5th graders wanted to plant in the garden. Then we decided to plant one plant for each foot. The problem started there. Children doesn’t know how much a foot is. Then the conversation went on and the children said that a foot is our foot. Exactly the foot is our foot. A foot is approximately the size of an adult foot. Then the children converted the meter dimensions of the garden they earlier measured into foot.
We went to Botanical garden after that to buy plants. Children were excited and we chose some plants and bought them. Then we came and planted them in the garden.
Each child took different responsibility and planted all the plants. Anitha gave few plants she had.Children also wrote the names of some plant they saw in the Botanical garden.
Saturday school already started with disappointment when the hot air balloon again failed to raise up. Then we thought of finishing with what we started. The garden which we built has to be filled with soil to plant plants. It was somewhat time consuming and exhausting to get red soil outside school. Then we looked around the school and found interesting solution.
There were burnt ashes left and decomposed compost from the dry leaves of bamboo trees. We decided to mix Ashes, Sand and Dry leaf compost to fill the garden. The activity started and the children mixed them and almost filled the garden.
Naveen and I took the help of the 4th graders to paint the clay room we are setting up in Isai Ambalam School. We scrapped the inner side walls of the room so that all the loose particles/paint came out. We then mixed white cement with water to cover the places where there were holes and black marks. Then we started painting the side walls. The children took a certain portion of the wall to paint(depending upon the height). Some also took a complete wall for themselevs to paint. Initially the children were worried that they would get paint in their hand/body. But once they took the paint brush in their hand, they were quite involved and didn’t woory much as would wash away everything in the end!