Those who experiment will be lifelong learners says Heena Srivastava, home room teacher
Our students are currently learning about Products and Its Origins. In this unit, they are also learning about the changes a natural product goes through. In our school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Program (PYP) learning is different from that of a traditional classroom. We do not hand out lists for children to learn. Instead, for every task we list out Lines Of Inquiry (LOI), because our teaching is inquiry-based. In the current unit, our LOI is how a natural product goes through different stages to reach our tables.
So first, we talked about milk and its products. For this, the children were asked to bring a milk product from home along with their lunch. I was surprised to see how much thought these tiny tots put into the task. The next morning, I had a table full of eatables, ranging from the obvious ones like butter and milk to kheer (“because it’s made out of milk”), rasgulla (“made out of paneer which is a milk product”) and even pizza (“it has cheese on top which is a milk product”). I was glad we were on the right track. We also made a collage with pictures of all these products.
Next up was wheat. Again, the children brought products made out of wheat. So first we had wheat flour. Then our enthusiastic bunch got to knead the dough. Since we always discuss with the children how we will go about a topic, which is a very scientific approach, they had come prepared with aprons. Faraaz had even brought a rolling pin! So once the dough was ready, they learnt how to roll out chapatis. At school, we had already arranged for an induction cooktop and the chapatis were cooked under my supervision. “Ma’am, it smells like popcorn!” said Rishita and Aanya. The entire activity was such fun that some older children, who were passing by, couldn’t resist joining in. The more, the merrier, I thought, and allowed them.
While all of this went on, Nabeel, who had set his heart on cooking a chilla, did so. As a teacher, it is heartening for me to see that what we are working so hard for is bringing the desired results. Because just a couple of days ago, when the class XI were organizing their farewell and my class was out, playing, they watched the food being prepared and even talked to the cook about how the paneer he was using was a by-product of milk. That’s how education should be, making our children inquirers for life and training them to connect the dots themselves. They don’t forget their lessons once they’ve left the class.