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Young World

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Awaken the senses nature's way


The week-long intensive exploration of the arts was aimed at sensitising children's minds to the natural world.

WITH ONE'S OWN HAND: Artistically inclined.

Kaleidoscope could mean different things to different people. Colours, glasses, patterns — anything. But, for the students of Isha Home School, near Coimbatore, it is a word that will evoke instant delight. It is the school's first annual week-long intensive exploration of the arts. Held recently in the school premises, the programme let the children explore a lot of their own accord — the fun way! From games, theatre workshop to pottery and poetry reading, it packed in quite a punch for the 107 irresistibly curious lot.

Kids' platform

K.B. Jinan, activist-designer from Kerala conducted a workshop, "Awakening the senses". Jinan, who strongly believes in sensitising the little minds to the natural world, provided the students a platform to discover on their own, what they already knew. A gamut of activities using clay, drawing with pencil and painting with poster colours helped the children bring out their understanding of Nature.

They walked around the forest, the dhobi stream, the coconut grove and the banyan tree taking in whatever each one had to offer. There was a session for the teachers too on how to tap the creative talent in children. Theatre artist from Puducherry, Velu Saravanan, conducted games, taught them mask making, and roped in 25 of them for his play deivaloga yaanai. The camp introduced the children to theatre. The games focussed on three aspects vital for theatre — voice, body and mind. After a couple of practice sessions, the play was staged on the evening of the second day.

Sarita Setu from Mumbai taught the students the creative use of clay. They wore their thinking hats, and what came from their active hands were works of unrestrained innovation.

Shoba Viswanath of Karadi Tales fame conducted a poetry workshop — "Bits of Verse". There were read-alouds, dramatisations and lots of music. The most interesting part of the workshop was poetry writing. The students had to write a poem on a specific thing, describing it through each of the five senses.

They wrote on everything from the tamarind tree to Nature's gift. Their own theatre and Jinan's workshops too became topics for poetry. And each one was a little peep into the children's pure imagination.

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