Creative Expressions in English Language Class-2
This is a family photo.
The lady sitting on the right is Suja. She is a teacher. The man near to her is her husband, Raghavan. He is working in a Bank. The boy sitting on his lap is their son,Sonu. He is studying in a Nursery school. The girl on the lap of Suja is their daughter,Meenu. She is studying in II std. The old man in the left is their grandfather, Sankaran. He is a retired police man. This is a happy family.
'Posing for a photo' was an activity in group. Children were made into four groups. Each group constituted a family. They could fix their roles. Then, each family was supposed to pose for three photos. When I said 'freeze' they froze for a moment and I took the first photo. Then I said 'change'. They moved a little and posed for another photo. They froze for a moment again. I took the second photo. In this manner, I took the third photo also. But this time a member of the group had to come out and introduce their family.
Children enjoyed the activity very much. The child who talked from each group spoke fluently. It was a rich language in put for all others which would definitely help them in the writing task that would follow.
I was teaching English in VI std. It was the first unit-The Rains of Love.
The first part of the unit was 'Life with Grandfather',an auto biographical account by the famous cartoonist Shankar. It was an interesting story of Raja,a little boy growing up under the care of his grand parents. In the story there exist a strong bond of love and affection among the members of the family.
I had planned a series of activities woven around the main theme- family. The focus of the activity was on the creative expression of the children. If we give opportunities for their self expression,language will automatically sprout from them. That was my assumption. So I planned activities like free talking,drawing and talking,expressing through writing,improvising an event,dramatising a situation,role-playing etc.
Talking about the pictureI started with a beautiful picture given in the beginning page of the unit. It was the picture of a family. I asked the children to sit on the floor in a circle. They were happy to sit on the floor. It helped them leave their conventional seats and create a new atmosphere in the class . First,I interacted with the children asking a few questions like
What do you see in the picture?
Who is standing in front of the house?
Who are coming to the house? etc.
“Children, can you talk about the picture?”
“Yes,sir.” All of them said.
Then they discussed about the picture sitting in pairs. I gave only five minutes for discussion. After that,one member from each group stood up and talked about the picture. All of them did well.
Abhishek talked about the picture like this:
'This is a beautiful picture. A picture of a family. There is a big house. The house is in a beautiful village. Father and mother standing in front of the house. Grandfather and grandmother coming to the house. Two children running to grandfather and grand mother. Grandfather touching one child. All are happy. There is one more family in the picture. Mother hen and her family'.
After finishing the talk,I asked them to write a caption to the picture. They wrote the caption under the picture using a pencil,sitting in the same group. Each group read aloud their caption.
'A happy family','A village sight','Happy days','A good family','A family in a village' were some of the captions. I wrote all the captions on black board and discussed its relevance.
“Adarsh,what happened? Why are you laughing?”
“Look,sir. This is my father. He has a big meesa.”(He doesn't know the English word for meesa)
“Oh!This is your father. He has a long moustache. Good.”
“Sir,look my mother's dress. A maxy.”
“Abhaya's mother is wearing a maxy. It looks good.”
During the drawing,I went near to each child and interacted with them. They liked it. My comments gave them more confidence in their drawing.
When they finished all of them sat in a circle on the floor with the picture in their hands. I told them to pass the picture to the child sitting right. Now they got the picture drawn by their friend. If they wanted they could show the picture to everybody and make comments.
“Look,this is the family of Navya. A nice picture.”
“Look, Dhanith has a small family.”
“Gowri's house is very big!”
Their comments were like this. To my surprise, all of them made positive comments!
When I said pass,they passed the picture again. In this manner,every child got the picture of others, they looked at the picture for a while and made comments as they liked.
Then, each of the children wrote about their family in the space left near to the picture. They were more confident while writing. It might be because they had got necessary language inputs from their previous activities. A few children read aloud their writings.
Safeeda wrote like this:
'My name is Safeeda. I am coming from Erinjipuzha. Seven members of in my family. I have three brothers and a sister. My fathers name is Ahammed and my mothers name is Suhra.I have two storied house. My father is farmer and my mother is house wife. I love my family.'
The following activity was posing for the photo which I mentioned in the beginning. In this activity,each group pretended to be members of a family and every body in the family got a definite role. Some of them used costumes or a little make up or some props to make believe that they were so and so in the family and they posed for the photo.
Improvising an incidentI wrote on the black board-'an incident in the family'
They were not able to understand the meaning of the word 'incident'.
“Abhishek,your grand father died in the last year. That was an incident in your family.”I said.
“Accident in my family,sir.” Drisya said.
“Yes,your grand father and grand mother seriously injured. That's an incident in your family.”
“My birth day in the next week.” Devika said.
“My sisters marriage.”Aswin said.
I divided them into four groups. The task was they had to improvise an incident occurred in the family. I gave them five minutes for planning.
Rehearsals were not allowed. They could sit in group,discuss the incident and fix the roles and some dialogues. I am sure that this kind of planning will help them to improvise on the spot. It exert a pressure on them to speak where the situation demands. That is more important than pre-planned dialogues. So we should not give more time for planning.
I observed their presentation. My point was whether they could render dialogues in the correct situation. Most of them were trying hard. A few could do well. They are improving. I know, learning is taking place. I am in the right track...
(to be continued..)