My Home, My Family and the Environmentby Karishma Srivastava
Schools finally reopened in Uttar Pradesh after more than a year in September 2021. We also resumed Let's Start Art sessions in the Government Primary Schools of Varanasi, this time with 20 schools and approximately 710 students of the city. Since the students have experienced a learning loss due to the pandemic and lack of resources to attend online classes, we have integrated different topics from the textbooks of primary classes with the themes of our art sessions.
Coronavirus, Lockdown, and Experiencesby Karishma SrivastavaAs the first wave began to fade out, the Uttar Pradesh government started to prepare for the reopening of schools from March 1st, 2021. We also conducted Let’s Start Art sessions in a few mohalla classes to reconnect and interact with children before the schools officially opened. In the month of February 2021, our art instructors Ajay, Anjali, and Neelam conducted 14 art sessions in 8 Government Primary Schools of Varanasi with around 113 students.
Why Arts should be taught?by Karishma Srivastava
“Shouldn’t you just teach the students who are actually good at drawing, rest of them won’t get it.”
Sound familiar? The concept of education in our country is limited to the mark sheets of the students. Children who take interest in drawing, singing or any other form of arts are generally asked to focus on the studies, stop distracting themselves with the extracurriculars and concentrate on the ‘subjects that matter’. These challenges have so far disabled the arts from serving their actual purposes.
Colourful Logics of a Childby Karishma Srivastava
Can you interpret your child's drawing?
Child Art is a result of the observations, emotions, experiences and imagination of a child, which later helps her develop into a creative person. While our children put so much effort into their drawing, we have a habit of distinguishing them as good or bad without even trying to understand them.
Some drawings are just drawings, with obvious meaning. But sometimes you can discover deeper meanings out of your child's drawings, and figure out what she/he is feeling or trying to express.
Online learning: Unorganised & Unfair solution to the Educational Crisisby Karishma Srivastava
As the pandemic began to rise across the world, baffling the best of the world's doctors and scientists working in the search of its cure, the only directives suggested for common people were to keep washing hands and maintain social distance. In March, a nationwide lockdown was ordered to contain the spread of the virus, limiting the movement of the entire population of India.
It has been seven months since then, and education, as a result, has largely moved online. However, the question is, "Was India ready for this shift to online learning?"
Home Sweet Homeby Karishma Srivastava
While the concept of arts-integrated learning is still new in India, the students who have been attending Let's Start Art sessions have found their ways in relating the routine subjects with arts and learn better. The first set of art sessions in the month of January were conducted on the theme "If Trees could walk" taken from a poem in their Hindi textbook.
Happy New Year 2020by Karishma SrivastavaSome of us relate vacations with staying at home and resting whereas others travel to different places to explore. In the first set of Let's Start Art sessions, we asked the students to recall their last holiday trips and how they travelled there. The theme was intended to make the students aware of means of transportation.In the second set of Let's Start Art sessions, the students made New Year greeting cards for their loved ones. Some of them made cards for their teachers and art instructors too.
What makes you happy?by Karishma Srivastava
What makes you happy?
We asked the students this simple question based on an English rhyme from their syllabus book "A Happy Child" and got amusing answers in the form of drawings. Children told us that they are happiest about the tiny little things in their lives despite all the adversities that they face.
The Dussehra Fairby Karishma SrivastavaFestivals and holidays approached as soon as the month of October started. We conducted Let's Start Art workshops after Dussehra and asked the students to draw their experience of the holidays. We also asked then to read a chapter named "The Fair" from their English book and try to relate it with the Fair they visited.
Let's Play and Learn the Story of Garbageby Karishma Srivastava
Most of the things that we vividly remember from our school education either had a picture related to the text in the book, or the words painted a pretty picture in our minds. There are countless studies that have confirmed the power of visual imagery in learning. For instance, one study asked students to remember many groups of three words each, such as dog, bike, and street. Students who tried to remember the words by repeating them over and over again did poorly on recall. In comparison, students who made the effort to make visual associations with the three words, such as imagining a dog riding a bike down the street, had significantly better recall.
FRIENDS, SPACE AND ALIENSby Karishma Srivastava
Do you remember stocking up friendship bands before going to school? All of us used to wait for friendship day each year and gifted friendship bands to our friends. In the month of August, we conducted the first set of Let's Start Art workshops on the same theme. We asked the students to draw their friends and narrate their friendship stories.
In the second set of art sessions, we asked the students to ponder over the question- 'How exploring space improves life on earth?'.
LET'S START ART: JULY 2019by Karishma Srivastava
Wouldn't you love to watch your favorite movie with a nice cup of tea? This is what our theme was for the Let's Start Art sessions this month- Chai (tea) and Favourite movie. Schools reopened after long summer vacation, so the students were more excited than usual for the art class and Chai seemed to be a popular thing among children.
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