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Imagine a Social Studies class in which the desks have been pushed together to make groups of about 5 students. In each group the students are busy discussing with each other, peering into atlases, searching through an index, and noting down their friends’ opinions.

EVS/Biology teaching deserves an evocative starting point to rally around. Say, a moving quote, a stirring speech or an impressionable photograph.. something that even a good quality textbook misses. Kalyan Varma's treasure trove of world class images which go by a Creative Commons licence.

One of the most insightful sentences I have come across for a (science) teacher is, "Take a thing you know and change one thing; its scale, its material and/or its context". Baahubali director S S Rajmouli had internalized that quote quite imaginatively. That was my first impression while watching the 2 parts. In many interviews he shared his childhood fascination for Amar Chitra Katha stories. He did change the scale of movie making, the material (story) was more or less oft-repeated.

Have you often found yourself wondering how exactly to make a history lesson interesting and relevant to your students? Suggested in this update is a way to help children comprehend the basics of history by interacting with the elderly and learning through a process of analogy.

There’s a concept that’s crucial to chemistry and physics. It helps explain why physical processes go one way and not the other: why ice melts, why cream spreads in coffee, why air leaks out of a punctured tire. It’s entropy, and it’s notoriously difficult to wrap our heads around. Jeff Phillips gives a crash course on entropy.

Vikas Arora shares this video from localfutures.org. You may use it in your social studies and economics class to trigger a discussion around fund allocation and resource distribution. Ask your learners to express and engage what happens in their family, at the local grocery shop and at a bigger super market. You may introduce them to the trend of 'artificial scarcity' and the price rise. Invite all ideas from them and also ask them to think of possible solutions. They may start with a mini project of budget allocation in their classroom project as a starter.

David Horsburgh, the foremost practioner of Activity Based Learning in India, in his book Thinking & Doing illustrates how it is possible to shift the agency into the hands of the learners, teacher becoming almost a redundant facilitator in the background.

Here is an annotated excerpt of 10 pages from that celebrated book.

How modern times imposes one way of learning and doing things on kids, thus taking away their natural, inborn creative instincts? This short award winning, critically acclaimed animation film, is a reflection of this bitter truth, the homogenous industrial way of education and living, which we blindly believe in.

“Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.” Jacques Barzun

Picture Stories by Radlov was first published in 1960, by Raduga Publishers of Moscow. This child friendly book contains Picture Stories, which are full of fun, mischief and surprises. These stories do not attempt to sermonise, preach or teach. They are sheer, unadulterated fun for children. 

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