Observations from the book club

Observations from the book club

0 Flares Filament.io 0 Flares ×
Last week was the fourth meeting of the Book Club. And so it’s been a month I’m still at it, that makes me pretty happy. The children had been asking when they would get to act out a sequence and so I thought it would be a good idea to do a bit from Swami and Friends during the Book Club Meeting. Since it was the first time and I didn’t want to disappoint any of the kids, I made up 7 speaking parts. Don’t even ask how difficult that was. However, as I was to find out, that turned out to be the easy bit.

Chaos reigned..

…as none of the kids, except the one playing Swami, were happy with their parts. They argued and argued and argued. The most unhappy were H and N. N couldn’t fathom why, when it was her mum giving out the parts, she couldn’t have the lead. H wanted to be the sole narrator. Uff… it was crazy. Finally, after much changing and exchanging, a whole lot of appeasement and a few tears too we had our cast in place. And then the fun began.

They really are an acting, dancing, singing bunch. The bits where they had to raise ‘Quit India’ slogans were the most fun. It still puzzles me why kids revel in so much noise! They sang ‘Sare jahan se achchha’ with gusto and refused to stop after one stanza each time we practised. Despite the tears and the disagreement it turned out to be a fun meeting.

Learnings for next time:

– A chat with H and N on not expecting special treatment (Promises to be a tough one since I still have no clue how to go about it. Suggestions are so welcome!)
– Ask for volunteers for each part and draw chits.
– Since I’m no playwrite I’d hardly done a good job with the dialogues. They need to be shorter and simpler. I could let the kids go extempore with a few guidelines and leave them to improvise.

An observation

What I thought was a personal problem with H and N seems to be a pretty universal phenomenon – most kids lack listening skills. They are too impatient, too excited, too curious about too many things to give their total attention to one thing.

And so this week…

… we started off with a game that would encourage listening as well as creativity – a story spinning game. I started off a story and each child took turns taking it forward. Since we didn’t follow an order and any child could be asked to take up the story, they paid attention. Happily enough, they also questioned the improbable bits and built up the characters pretty well.

Also, the two boys in the club had asked for adventurous stories so the poor Happy Prince was put on hold (yet again) and I picked a Russian folk tale for this week – Ivan Tsarevich and the Grey Wolf with a firebird thrown in for good measure. It was a personal childhood favourite and the kids seemed to like it too.

We also practiced saying ‘Thank You’ in various languages including Russian. That was super fun. For a change I didn’t have to remind the kids to say a ‘thank you’ to me, which I always have to otherwise, but that’s another post.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 0 Buffer 0 Pin It Share 0 Filament.io 0 Flares ×

20 Replies to “Observations from the book club”

  1. Wow! So much of fun and excitement! Agree about listening skills. While we have been taught about reading, writing and body language, somehow, listening never features in our learning as part of communication process. Loved your idea of making them listen. Great going, Tulika! ♥

    1. Shilpa listening would have come automatically, except these days kids have lost practice what with so many solitary entertainment channels available to them.

    1. Pheno.. you might not have found the right one – as in with people who like to read what you read. I too used to think of book clubs as a pompous bunch of people who discussed high brow literature. But it needn't be that way. It might be fun too. Drop in on ours one of these days!

  2. interesting point about the attention span… yes, it has been noted that the listening capacity and attention span has diminished quite a bit in general compared to a generation ago. So I don't know if its a specific worry 🙂
    I also like that more and more creativity is being encouraged rather than just (literally) going by the books..

  3. This was such a fun post to read, especially the image of you tearing your hair out sorting out the squabbles 😉 And yet, you plod on, week after week. You're made of sterner stuff than I am 😉

    I like the idea of the drawing chits. What you could also incorporate is the idea of role rotation. Have the boys enact girls' parts and vice versa. You could also tell them that the ones who don't argue will get to pick the roles for the next time, although that may backfire, if they ALL behave 😉 Keep going though. You're doing a great job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

Load More
Something is wrong. Response takes too long or there is JS error. Press Ctrl+Shift+J or Cmd+Shift+J on a Mac.

RSS On my other blog

  • A Man Called Ove – A Review
    Title: A Man Called Ove Author: Fredrik Backman Some books leave you in a warm fuzzy haze that stays like a happy feeling in your heart for a long time. A Man called Ove did that to me. This is the story..  …. of 59 year old Ove. He is the quintessential angry old man, […]