Category Archives: Schools

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.


Multiplication using Ganit Mala

I used the Ganit Mala with the 3rd graders of Isai Ambalam to demonstrate multiplication. They were able to understand that multiplication is a sum of additions. They were able to write 2-10 multiplication tables. Some children worked in pairs and some worked alone. They were fairly engaged with the material they were using.

They were also able to do 2 digit addition and subtraction using the Mala.

Fixing the tube light in Isai Ambalam

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.

Water Level Indicator

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.

Cubes Rods Plates – 3rd grade

I introduced the Dienes blocks to the 3rd graders to get a sense of ones, tenths and hundreds. Each cube is one, a rod is a ten and plate is a hundred. I asked them the following questions

  1. How many cubes can make a rod?
  2. How many rods can make a plate?
  3. How many plates make a cube?

Then we noticed that the pattern repeats itself : cubes – rods – plates – cubes – rods – plates ….. and that everytime it increases by 10 orders of magnitude.

The children had fun trying to keep the blocks in their hands. Some children were not able to hold it but they all tried.

Building a simple motor:

In Isai Ambalam school we showed Arvind gupta video for the  4th and 5th graders. They saw the video and noted down the materials that are needed to build a simple motor. First day they built and it didn’t rotate. They were sad and went back to their class. Second day they watched the video again and they came to know their mistake. They corrected their mistake and the it rotated. Siva and me explained the concept why it is rotating. From my experience when I built it for the first time it didn’t rotate and I didn’t know what was the mistake. Then It rotated. I learnt that I should never give up easily on what I work.








Leaves with 3rd graders

The 3rd grade children of Isai Ambalam School collected different leaves from the school campus. They were able to differentiate the shapes, colour and texture of the leaves. We watched a video on why leaves change yellow in colour. They got to know new words like stem, branch, root, chlorophyll etc.. They were able to draw the different parts of the plant in their notebook after watching the video. We also made made an Herbarium model after collecting green leaves and drying them in their notebook/book

Some of the leaves that the children had collected