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Suggestive Activities

Activities for Foundational Stage of Schooling (3-Years of Pre-School and Grades 1 and 2) (Children 3-8-Year-Old)

For the foundational stage, the learning should be :

  • Flexible,
  • Multi-faceted,
  • Multi-level,
  • play-based,
  • activity-based, and
  • inquiry-based learning

It should comprise of :

  • alphabets,
  • languages,
  • numbers,
  • counting,
  • colours,
  • shapes,
  • indoor and outdoor play,
  • puzzles and logicalthinking,
  • problem-solving,
  • drawing, painting, and other visual art, craft, drama, and puppetry,
  • music andmovement

Playtime anytime for early learners:

Turn everydayroutines into fun playful moments for learning and brain development. Some such moments and activities are given below:

  • Naming things- Ask the child or give themnames of differentitems, and classifythem.
  • Dress up: Select some different fabrics, an old scarf, dupatta, and encourage your little one to make a pretend costume out ofwhatyou have.
  • Hunting shapes:Go on a shape huntinside the homewith your child.
  • Name that noise: Make different animal noises and have the child guess which animal you’re pretending to be.
  • The body game: Name your child’s body parts and point to them to help teach hertheir names.
  • Toddler challenge: Children love to be given challenges as they are growing more physically coordinated.
  • Kitchen drummer: Turn over safe, shatter-proof bowls, pots, and pans to make a set of drums straight from your kitchen.
  • Free draw: Give your pre-schooler some crayons and paper to draw away! Children also love to draw in the mud or sand
  • Ball pass: Grab a softball and roll it back and forth with your toddler.
  • Hide and hunt: Collect a few small objects and cloth to hide and uncover for identification, counting, remembering, etc.
  • Family band: Sing songs with your child and create musical instruments from safe objects you find around the house. Sings songs that you learnt as a child
  • Imagine: Ask your child to pretend to be a lazy cat or a dog that just got up from her sleep then yawns, stretches its legs and body, and makes a funny sound.
  • Read or tell a story: Talk to your child about your childhood, tell them a story, if you have a book read a story from the book.
  • Young helpers in the home: Folding and putting away washed clothes can be an enjoyable activity. Children can be asked to sort clothes based on size or colours too.
  • Let’s make toys: ifyou have paper available then make boats, airplanes, birds by paper folding. If paper is not available, use clay for children can make toys of their choice. Children can be encouraged to develop and play with their own board games with pictures, numbers, and text.
  • Let’s count and other mathematical concepts: Ask children to count different objects or give them clay balls or other lay materials to learn the number concept.
  • Connect with nature: Encourage children to observe the flowers, trees, plants, leaves, birds, butterflies, insects in the local environment.
  • Patterns and designs: Provide children with bottle caps, leaves, flowers, and twigs and show them a pattern ask them to copy the same. Encourage them to make their own patterns.
  • Let’s make storybooks: If you get a newspaper at home you can use pictures from it and make a new storybook along with the child.
  • A print or writing corner for your child: Provide a designated space foryour child to display their drawings, writing materials or any other print material they collect. You can paint a portion of the wall as a blackboard for children to write on the wall.
  • Picture Reading/Talk: Children can be shown sceneries of a particular event, place, story like a fair/mela, zoo, circus, etc, and asked to talk about it.
  • Read aloud of stories: Parents, older siblings and other care givers to read aloud stories from engaging books or using online resources. Children could be asked to read aloud the stories read out to them.
  • Learning to add and subtract: Using easily available materials at home like vegetables, pebbles, pulses, or other objects, doing basic addition and subtraction.
  • Making new words: Give the child a letter consonant grid and ask them to make new words and say them out and write them too.
  • Fun with a calendar: Many homes will have a calendar, use the calendar for talking about numbers, ask children to identifythe days of the week, count the number of Mondays/Sundays in a month, map the weather of each day using symbols for different weather types.
  • Taking care of the environment: Encourage children to plant seeds or take care of plants or animals at home. Ask them to observe these and to study the growth and behaviour of animals.
  • Doing puzzles: Take a large picture from a newspaper, magazine and cut it out in different shapes and sizes and create puzzles. Children will enjoy joining these pieces and doing the puzzles

Monitor, monitor, monitor: For pre-schoolers monitoring of progress must be part of the activities that are conducted with them, can a 5-year-old classify objects based on size, colour, shape or can join dots of a complex picture to make the complete picture do a simple jig saw puzzle of up to 10 pieces, can follow a pattern and copyit, can answer a simple riddle, can hold a picture storybook correctly and turn pages to go through a book.

Preparatory Stage of School (Class 3 to 5) (Children Age 8-11 Years)

In order to lay a solid ground work across subjects, including reading, writing, speaking, physical education, art, languages, science, and mathematics, the pedagogy of this stage mainly builds on that ofthe Foundational Stage. Therefore, pedagogy consists of:

  • play-based learning,
  • discovery-based learning,
  • activity-based learning
  • aspects of more formal but interactive classroom learning

Children in the preparatory stage of schooling can do most of the activities that are mentioned above. In addition,further learning activities are suggested below.

These activities are in addition to any resourcesthatmay have also been shared by the school.

  • Writing a journal: Both you and your child can talk about your feelings: “Today I am feeling…”, “Today I am grateful for…”, “I know I am strong because...”, “When I grow up I want to…”, “If I were the leader of this country I would…”,“My happiest daywas…”.
  • Making word and picture webs: Give the child a word or a picture and ask them to list of words associated with them.
  • Make your own family storybook: Draw or collect pictures from any print materials available in the local environment and make a storybook.
  • Drawing pictures or making toys and models: Children should be encouraged to share their thoughts onwhatthey have developed.
  • Feeling faces: Children can create drawings of faces, each expressing a different emotion – happy, sad, angry,worried, etc.
  • Measuring things around the house: Give the child a piece of thread and ask them to use their palm or feet to measure – the distance, the length of a door or window, the side of a table or cot.
  • Family questions: Ask each member of the family to answer one question about each other. Their favourite colour,favourite vegetable, a festival they enjoy most, etc.
  • Word antakshari: Ask the child to start the game by saying aword that could be someone’s name, name of a place or an animal, bird, insect, or thing), the next person has to say a word starting with the last letter.
  • Picture reading and writing: Pick a picture from a textbook, newspaper or magazine, or any print material that is available at home. Talk about what is happening in the picture or what it is about.
  • Making lists: Children could be asked to make a list of objects – things in a kitchen, tools used by a farmer, potter, cycle or carre pair mechanic, etc.
  • Independen treading: Have a designated time of the day when children can pick up any reading materialforreading. Ask the school teacher to share storybooks from the school library
  • Find the missing objects: Put together a collection of items (such as a comb, a spoon, buttons, seeds, needle, and thread, lock, and key), after the child has observed them forsome time, remove one of the objects and, ask the child to find what is missing.
  • Go shopping: Roleplay going to the market. You can also ask children towrite and drawa list of objects that they would go buy.
  • What can I see: Ask your child to guess what you can see based on clues. Now ask the child to give you clues and you have to guess.
  • Writing recipes: Thinking logically and sequentially is a skill, children can be asked to write down the step-wise processesto ask them towrite how to make a simple dish that children observe being made every day at home.
  • Teach your parent: It can be great fun if children are asked to teach their parents. While teaching, not only would they expand their knowledge,they would feel empowered also.
  • Do activities together: Make a short video together on any one aspect of nature, a vocation or even of cooking at home, etc. with the child giving a well-researched commentary. Even reading newspapers together can be highly useful to hone a child’s reading and comprehension abilities.
  • Literacy and Numeracy– Encourage your child to look at packets of milk, or foodstuff and using the terminology of a litre, ml, kg, measuring lengthsin the house in inches, feet, cms(dining table, book, etc.) could be used extensively.
    • Watch a cartoon together- Talking about cartoon shows and other children television programs and talking about it can help in focusing on social and emotional skills
    • Framing rules: If possible, involve your child in framing clear rules and time table for study to establish routines and expectations. This would help students in owning their learning.
    • Help your child in arranging things: Ask your child to help in arranging (apparatus, material, tools, or other resources) required to perform a learning task. Ask the teacher to suggest an alternative activity in case the material is not available at home

Assessing learning, monitoring the progress of learning: During your call with the teacher do check if some simple assessment tools like worksheets or assessment questions from the state’s questions bank can be shared which can be used with children. You can ask your child to read a simple age appropriate storybook, look out for the words that your child is unable to read, ask the child questions related to the story they may have read or has been read to them. When children do writing activities or express themselves through drawing, ask children to talk about it also review the written text to see if children have acquired basic writing skills – forming the letters and numbers, follow the principles of written script, there is a logical flow of thought, do children invent spellings when writing.

Role of parents in adolescents' lives(Ages 11-18)

Adolescence is the period in one's life marked by radical changes in all domains be it physical, emotional, orsocial. Adolescents are one step ahead of childhood and one step behind adulthood. This leads to their identity confusion "who am I? -am I a child or an Adult" Parents need to understand this phenomen on so as to establish a deeper and long‐term relationship in their teenager's progress on the learning curve as well as in their physical and emotional well being.

  • Parents play a vital role in their children’s physical, emotional, and mental development, especially in the teen years. If positive environments and relationships can enhance developmental outcomes, the negative experiences too have long-lasting repercussions in adult life. Hence supporting parents to recognize and nurture their own and their adolescent children’s strengths become crucial so that their children mature from young adolescents into early adulthood.
  • As the parenting relationship evolves, parents require a new set of developmentally appropriate skills and strategies to meet their children’s needs.
  • Parenting requires a specific focus on the emerging sexuality of their adolescent children and ways to promote healthy sexual and reproductive health behaviour.
  • Parents face innumerable challenges in supporting their child's learning due to changes in the method of instruction; increased demands of their children for digital tools and other devices, the influence of peer/friends group (teenagers try to drift away from parents ), and exposure to Social Media and the like.
  • While being involved in teen’s education may be challenging, here is what you as a parent can provide to foster academic, social, and emotional growth and sound characterin adolescents: by playing multiple roles.

As a teacher: Even without lesson plans, teacher's guides, and formal training, you as parents have successfully taught your children valuable skills. You may not be able to provide one-on-one instruction but you can share your own educational experiences, be partners in learning and construct knowledge with them. You may spend some time every day on a regular basis to sit with your child and discuss what he/she islearning online, whether he/she can relate the content show interest in what is being taught, and share your expertise if any. It is also important to remind your child that, even if the school is closed, learning should not stop. Supporting children to continue learning will help them feel positive about the future and ready to return back to school as soon as they reopen.

As a manager: As a manager, you can keep track of your child's progress; manage time/schedule; discipline; ensure good nutrition, sleep and rest, together develop strategies for conflict resolution, constructive problem-solving and decision making, anger management, tolerance, etc. can all be impacted by being a role model yourself. After all, values are caught; not taught. You can share life experiences of how you or anyone whom they know solved problems.

As a facilitator: Help your child in academic activities by providing adequate resources, materials, books, worksheets, printouts, access to internet connectivity, online learning, and provide hygienic and well-ventilated study spaces. Similarly, help them pursue their hobbies, connect them with expertsin a particularfield fromthe community/parent community.

As a counselor: You can provide emotional support to your adolescents when they are going through the most difficult times. Help them deal with challenges or conflicts in a calm and productive way using problem-solving skills. Instead of getting upset and angry when a problem comes up, encourage your child to respond in a positive way. Help them see both sides of issues, disputes, arguments. Keep channels of communication open and reassure your child that this is a part of growing up. Staying connected with your teenage child is about building closeness in your relationship - be available and responsive to your teenager. It’smore than just spending time around each other.

As an organizer: You as parents have great organizational skills. You may plan daily schedule/routine, co-curricular activities; games, arrange resources according to school requirements, help your child manage materials and activity sheets. Create homework folders, checklists, schedules, and a clean, distraction-free space for studies. Adequate nutrition is very important for growth and development. You may ensure thatyour child has good eating habits, eat healthy and nutritious food. Arrange forfield trips, outdoor visits(only when it is permissible) long walks, etc.

As a motivator: You can motivate your children to plan their future, ask them to share their dreams, and assure them that you would walk with them through their journey. Motivate to have high expectations, dream high but with a foot firmly on the ground. When they feel like talking about it, ask them to share their dreams. Asking for areas of interest, “which college” they would like to join what are the plansfor higher studies, 'what is the career choice', 'what is the motivation behind choosing such a career, or“what kind of job seems most interesting.” Such involvement can help them form concrete goals, either about college, technical training, or career choices. Such a dialogue will provide guidance and offer another perspective as adolescents plan for higher education (e.g.what coursesto take) and beyond (e.g. college and career planning). But remember not to thrustyour unrealized ambitions on your children. (Many parents are guilty of doing so which has a negative impact.

Adolesent Stage : Middle Stage (Classes 6-8) (Children Aged 11-14 Years)

In this stage, Learning : 

  • Builds on the pedagogical and curricular style of the Preparatory Stage,
  • Subject teachers are introduced for learning and discussion of the more abstract concepts in each subject- across the sciences, mathematics, arts, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Experiential learning within each subjectis going to be part of classroom transactions, and
  • Explorations of inter-relations among different subjects, will be encouraged and emphasized despite the introduction of more specialized subjects and subject teachers

Some Suggested activities are:

Be a patient listener: If you listen patientlyto them, they will develop trust in your relationship and grow closer to you.

Show interest: Encourage your child to expand on what she’s saying, and explore her views, opinions, feelings, expectations, or plans. Listen without being judgmental or critical. Your aim is not to correct or give advice or help unlessyour child asksforit.

Establish rapport: Through open communication help your teenager realize and accurately label his/her emotions and feelings in different situations and suggest ways to handle selfcriticism, and harmonize one’s own conflicting feelings and thoughts.

Ask Open-ended questions: When you are in a conversation with an adolescent, one way to keep the focus on him or her is to ask questions that will get him/her talking. Give repeated assurance and affirmations that these emotions are only temporary, and he/she will manage to come out of it successfully.

Have healthy discussion: Family dinners become an excellent time to help children develop conversational skills, listening skills, respecting others' thoughts, empathy, courtesy, sharing, etc. Discussion can be on any current topics and what they can do to contribute to the society etc.

Help your learner to develop life skills: Life skills are very much essential for the holistic development of children. You can help children to develop life skills while they are at home by involving them in various activities like cooking, gardening washing, cleaning, etc.

Engage in mindful activities: Engage your child in doing mindful activities. Start by sharing why mindfulness is worth trying. Doing exercise /yoga and other mindful activities together can have a calming effect. You can try more active mindfulness activities such as mindful gardening, directed painting, or simple yoga poses.

Experimenting/exploring involving children in cooking: The kitchen is a great laboratory. By involving children in kitchen work, not only will theylearn culinaryskills, but also major concepts of Science and Math subjects like classification, organization, measurements, proportions, thermal conductivity, chemical reactions, permutation, combinations, optimization, hygiene, timing, nutrition, and many more. Cooking is also the most versatile art form that involves all senses. By involving children in cooking you can help develop major life skills like collaboration, interdependence, and values of sharing caring, etc. So encourage your children to take turns in cooking, explore a new recipe together and nurture your child's creativity. Children can additionally get involved in shopping for ingredients. This will help to develop their budgeting skills and knowledge of where foods come from, as well as how to store foods correctly, plan menus, managewaste and maintain hygiene.

Hold story telling sessions with all family members: Family members may sit together and narrate stories. It can be in the formofstory completion also like eachmemberweaving a thread to the story.

Leisure reading: From a very early age leisure reading at home is to be encouraged to build reading skills. Why not spend some time reading for pleasure? It’s a great way to encourage your child to pick up a book.

Familiarizingwith culture and customs: You can motivate your children to develop an interest in the Mother tongue, traditions, culture, etc. Folk songs can be taught. Singing sessions can be held. Parents can discuss the specialty of their regional crafts, art if acts, share folklores, etc. Socio cultural aspects are best learned at home. It is very important for children to imbibe our cultural ethos and home language.

Developing hobbies: Show a genuine interest in your children's hobbies. As a parent, you can encourage extra curricular activities/vocational skills which can be an important factorin college admissions. Also,this is the ideal time to pursue your own hobbies.

Demonstrate your expertise/skill in your vocation: It is important to familiarize your child with your job/vocation, the nature of your job, demands of the job, your deliverables, etc. At times a candid discussion about a job-related problem can be fruitful when your teenager can come up with innovative ideas to solve it. Teenagers can be highly creative.

Take collaborative projects: Let your child choose what you’ll do and follow his lead. This will motivate him to want to spend time with you (SMC can arrange for a demonstration of such projects. and give incentive to best parent-child team)

Provision for virtual hang out with their friends: It is also important for teens to have regular periods of time in their schedule in which they can virtually socialize with their peers. This will ensure that they get plenty of time to connect with friends and classmates.

Sharing your own experiences: Don’t be afraid to share some of your own teenage experiences with your child. Tell them that you understand his/her emotions because it happened to you too. Talk about how you handled it (or didn’t handle it) and what you learned from it. Learn from children: When it comes to technology and its uses in our 'digital age' children may turn out to be more techno-savvy and knowledgeable. You may spend time with your teenagers to understand the technology behind household items like a pressure cooker, Mixer, TV remote, Fan, kettle, etc, or learn from them about features of smartphones, computers, and other electronic devices. You can even bond over small Science and Math projects, It will be a highly rewarding experience for you both.

Create interest in learning: If you demonstrate that learning new things is interesting and enjoyable, your child is more likely to have a positive attitude to school and learning. Your enthusiasm would motivate your child also to take interest in learning newthings.

Learning by discovery: Encourage teenagers to ask "why" questions about the world around them facilitate and try to find solutions together. The process of scientific discovery, experiential learning will lead to permanent learning.

Time management: Help your child use time wisely and productively. Monitor the use of television, video games, and computers. Warn them about cyber crimes, cyberbullying. You may take the help of expert teachers, counselors in this regard.

Focus on schoolwork: Help your child focus on homework. Make Homework more interesting and encourage children to complete the work in time. Instead of nagging about work not done identify work done and appreciate the same.

Setting goals: In times like the present pandemic, togetheryou can set short-term goals so that children get a taste of success and feel a sense of accomplishment. Celebrate successes, remind themthatyou are proud of them.

Involve in the upkeep of spaces: Encourage your children to participate in the upkeep of your homes This way they will learn about space management, time management, and selfmanagement. Itwould also encourage themtomanage theirimmediate surroundings, classrooms, labs, libraries, gardens, etc, They will also learn to appreciate the efforts of service providers in keeping our environment clean

Adolescent to Adulthood : Secondary Level (Classes 9-12) (Ages14-18)

The Learning Comprises of :

  • Multidisciplinary study,
  • Building on the subject-oriented pedagogical and curricularstyle of the Middle Stage,
  • Greater depth, greater critical thinking, and problem-solving

Academically, the intermediate level of schooling (Higher Secondary level) is a crucial change as it is the stepping stone for further education. This is also a time when the individual lessens his/her emotional dependence on his parents, develops a mature set of values and responsible selfdirection and vocational identity. A major turning point in adolescents' lives involves the career choice that they make while in high school. At this stage of life, adolescents face multiple challenges and they must be resolved with utmost care so they can make appropriate choices for themselves.

Some suggested activities

  • Guidance and counselling needs must be identified so that, steps can be taken to make available required support services in this regard at an adequate level.
  • Keep your teen safe online by involving him/her in creating family tech agreements about healthy device use (how much screen time can be used)
  • Help them understand the need to keep personal information private, especially from strangers; inform about cybersecurity and arrange for professional help if required.
  • You should report unmanageable behaviors misconducts of your adolescent children to the school authority/counselor and local authority to guide them in preventing offences and crimes from their side.
  • Get a general idea of offences/crimes from the counselor in advance and understanding the behavioral clues ofthe children in doing so
  • Organize role plays,relaxation, andmindfulnesstechniques.
  • Help your teenager to develop longer-term resilience and practical“life skills”.
  • Nurture theirinherenttalents.
  • Help in expanding opportunities: Include your child in family discussions, and decision making Include them in preparing the home budget. This would go a long way in teaching competency skills.

These are trying times. By maintaining positive and respectful relationships during this period,you and your teenager can successfully overcome the barriers and emerge stronger and more resilient.

Source : Ministry of Education



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