Educational travel in India for children and teenagers

Childhood has always been a blithe memory, for most of my vacations were spent travelling with my parents around the country. They took my brother and me to historical monuments, traditional temples, geographical wonders, planned cities and cultural villages. India’s diversity has been an attraction for tourists from all over the world, but the beautiful stories every place had inspired me as an Indian.

India has a ton of educational places where students can learn about its heterogeneity. Very few schools take their students for these study trips, but that is what should be addressed. Planning and organizing edu-visits are not as easy as they may seem, but it is cheaper for schools to collect funds and plan an edu-visit rather than parents, who may not have the proper resources to do so. Although, there are some parents who take time out from their busy schedules and take their kids for such visits.

Learning happens best when it is experienced.

What is a field trip/ an educational visit ?

A planned and organized tour of places to visit, food, cultural and traditional exchange between locals of the particular place and the students, as well as activities related to that specific area of study or place.

What is the difference between a field trip and educational visit?

Field trips are short in duration, usually close to the city or not more than 3-4 hours of travel. Educational visits tend to be of a longer duration.

What are the different types of field trips?

Visiting a farm, a zoo, a factory, hiking, camping, heritage walk, photo walk, museum visits can be named under field trips.

What are the different types of educational visits?

Since educational visits are longer in duration, staying at that site, learning about the place and interacting with locals is what makes it experiential. For example, staying in Auroville (planned city) to learn about the foundation and infrastructure of the city or visiting the Gir National Park to learn about the wildlife in Gujarat.

Here is a list of places where students can explore, learn and muse over what they see.

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Hampi – The ruins of Vijayanagara Kingdom with the backdrop of boulders gave me the unique picture of ancient history.

Borra Caves – An exploration of stalagmites and stalactites with deep and high ceilings was amazing to the urban eye.

Konark Temple – An amalgamation of architecture, history, spirituality and art, one word, mesmerizing.

Dubare Elephant Farm – A day with the elephants will tempt you to stay there or visit them again.

Udaipur – A planned, historical and beautiful mixture of urban and rural India.

National Science Centre – Got mind-blown by the science and technology.

If you wish to suggest a few more places, share your personal experiences or just say “hi”, please comment in the comment section below.

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Movies that educate

A story can teach a child about value, forgiveness, care, motivation and inspiration. Movies are a great way of teaching these lessons to children. The audio-visual medium of communication attracts children and the message is usually received by them.

Some movies have historical influences and timelines like Lagaan, Mangal Pandey, The legend of Bhagat Singh. Some are Inspirational like Iqbal, I am Kalam, Swades, Laakshya, Mary Kom and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Some are value lessons like Chillar Party, Munna Bhai and The Blue Umbrella.

BOLLYWOOD Movies for kids

  1. Iqbal
  2. Chillar Party
  3. Harishchandra chi factory
  4. Mr. India
  5. Chachi 420
  6. Taare Zameen Par
  7. Lagaan
  8. Munna Bhai MBBS
  9. Lage Raho Munna Bhai
  10. I am Kalam
  11. Swades
  12. 3 idiots
  13. Mary Kom
  14. Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
  15. Laakshya
  16. The Blue Umbrella
  17. The legend of Bhagat Singh
  18. Mangal Pandey

Of course there are many more. Comment below and I will add them to the list.

Kinesthetic and Visual learning made easy

While practicing remedial teaching, I usually come up with a few creative ways of making learning colourful, tactile and interesting.

All I use are blank sheets of paper and write over them or cut them up to make kinesthetic games for kinesthetic learners. It incorporates visual and fine and gross motor skill activities as well.

Here are a few techniques you can use at home or for kids who need that little extra attention.

WP_20150508_022This activity is used for subtraction. Where I simply put coloured bits of paper in front of the child, write down the subtraction questions and let him do the cutting and pasting. It involves math and the fine motor activity for cutting and pasting.

WP_20150508_012I sometimes have kids who do not like to write. But how can I make them learn words and reading without making them hold a pencil. I had a child who refused to write a single letter. So I came up with an idea to write the words in double script (typographic design) and asked him to colour the words. As he coloured the words, would ask him which word he was colouring. Surprisingly, he would say the correct word and enjoy the colouring while doing so.

Along with these activities, learning basic words and their rhyming words can be made fun with just a few chits / flash cards and some coloured wool. Make two columns with jumbled rhyming words and give the child some wool. They find it challenging to find the word and read it and match it with its rhyme. Engaging and educating.

WP_20150508_017    WP_20150508_020

HeWP_20150508_004re is another addition method which we have been using since forever. However, I used bigger sheets so that I could differentiate every question. Space provides clarity of categorising or clumping as some would call it and makes it easier to add.

Understanding shapes and counting also help to elucidate mathematic concepts. Below is another mathematics activity I use, where the child has to count the number of shapes and colour the correct number of boxes related to that specific shape.

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WP_20150508_006I give reading a lot of emphasis and even if the child is unwilling there are ways to make them read. Here, I have written words on colourful flash cards and asked the child to paste them in it’s house. “two letter words” and “three letter words” . The child manages to count the alphabets, but along with that the child is encouraged to read the word by making phonetic sounds and indirectly, he ends up reading the word.

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I love this method of learning where we can become all sorts of creative. Using crayons and toy cars and flash cards you can devise a game where the child thinks he has to get past barriers. In the race track above, I used flash cards as the passwords to get to the next level. So the child had to make an effort to read the word, and when he did, he would feel accomplished by a level up and his cars could then go around the track. “Vroom, Vroom” to learning.

So here are a few simple DIY activities you can do with your children. I will update this post as and when I come up with more activities.

11 Ways Finland’s Education System Shows Us that “Less is More”.

Indian Schools should start with smaller changes if not big ones – Training quality teachers should be #1 on the list.

Filling My Map

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When I left my 7th grade math classroom for my Fulbright research assignment in Finland I thought I would come back from this experience with more inspiring, engaging, innovative lessons.  I expected to have great new ideas on how to teach my mathematics curriculum and I would revamp my lessons so that I could include more curriculum, more math and get students to think more, talk more and do more math.

This drive to do more and More and MORE is a state of existence for most teachers in the US….it is engrained in us from day one.  There is a constant pressure to push our students to the next level to have them do bigger and better things.  The lessons have to be more exciting, more engaging and cover more content.  This phenomena  is driven by data, or parents, or administrators or simply by our work-centric society where we…

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