by Dr. Nandita
Dear Bookworm Team,
This Friday, I took the copies of My Letters My Words to GPS Paithona for distribution to the children- My word! What excitement! I think that for many of them, it was the first time that they were given an actual book, which was not a textbook. The classroom resounded with cries of ‘wow’ and ‘wah’ and deep sighs of appreciation. I asked them to write their names on their own book. One of the Std 4 students Pratiksha came up and asked me to write my name on her book. Rather than disappoint her with a refusal, I turned the book around and signed it just to humor her. Within minutes the word spread like wild fire and I had children crowding around me. I had to make them form a line – such a wonderful ‘celebrity’ feeling. Imran from Std 3, who confuses I’ and My”, and says ‘waan’ for ‘when’, came up to me and in a crystal clear voice requested “Teacher, autograph”!
Their English teacher has taught them ‘a’ sound and they can all identify the letter. So we looked at the ‘a’ page together and they had to tell me one thing about anything or make a story about what they could see. Lots of talking ensued – The apple is big, the ant is eating the apple, the ant fell down, His stomach is paining, The ant is carrying the apple, The ant is going to hospital in the ambulance. New words we discussed were – siren, wheels, sick, stomach pain, carry. Std 4 children read the words on the page easily. Children were asked to draw one picture and either label it (Std 2-3) or write a sentence (Std 4). I will check their completed work on Monday. They have also been asked to share the book with their siblings, parents and other family members.
How did the book help – it is a great way to hold their attention, the kids love the pictures. The pictures evoke a flood of oral sharing in Konkani/Hindi. Older kids tried to speak in English. Since the images on the page are connected to each other, they stimulate stories, which kids enjoy. The words given on the page help the children who can write to label the pictures and make sentences.
We now have a ‘home grown’ treasure chest in the classroom.
Thank you! More power to the Bookworm team