Monday, 23 January 2012

Children and Colours: Part 1

Do you wish to teach your child about colours?

Read a short story on how a group of five year old children learnt about colours in school one day. See if you find a new perspective on teaching colours to your child. 

The teacher began by telling the children that they were going to learn about colours.

A little girl said “Teacher, I wish to eat colours”,

Upon hearing the child’s words, all the children burst into laughter.

Some of the children told her that eating colours can give her a tummy ache!

After the chatter subsided, the teacher looked at the little girl and merely repeated whatever she just said “You wish to eat colours”.

The little girl nodded.

Now, if your child made the same statement, how would you react?

Would you dismiss it as fantasy and smile back?

Would you take it literally and warn the child that eating colours is dangerous?

Would you view her statement as a stepping stone to a new way of thinking or learning about colours?

Coming back to the story, do you know what the teacher did?

She viewed the child’s statement as a stepping stone to a new way of thinking and learning about colours.

The teacher asked the children a question- “Are many of the things we eat colorful?”

The children thought for a few seconds and pat came the chorus reply “YES!”

Then the teacher said, “So, does that mean we can eat colours?”

“YES!” came back an excited reply from the children.

Guess what? This is how the lesson on colours took off in the teacher’s class that day! The children began naming the colours of all the things they eat. The teacher wrote it all down on the blackboard. The teacher and children identified and spoke about all the colours seen in the classroom and beyond. These exercises helped connect learning to reality. The children were thrilled with the lesson. Subsequently, the children learnt to spell the names of the colours and also wrote them in their notebooks.

Several goals were achieved that day in school-

  1. The children learnt to spell the names of the colours and practised writing them, which was the primary goal set by the syllabus.
  2. They connected their learning to reality by thinking and discussing about colours.
  3. They had fun while learning and understood that learning can be fun.
  4. Thanks to the child who said she felt like eating colours, the children acquired a new perspective on colours.

Often, children say things that do not sound logical to adult ears and adults dismiss such thinking as silly or unnecessary. However, this kind of thinking when encouraged, can take learning to a new level altogether!

Choose to encourage the different thoughts and expressions of your child. Uncover a treasure trove of happy learning experiences for your child!

<p><a href="">Image: Arvind Balaraman /</a></p>

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