Friday, June 25, 2010

Cartoons in classrooms

Ever though of teaching Cartoons in Classrooms? Especially in an Indian environment where children hardly would be interested in Political cartoons. So, what about learning on Educational Cartoons? Or just about using cartoons to analyze critical thinking activities and know about current affairs. As I hear, Digital Whiteboards are paving its way in classrooms, it is far way thought to introduce activities that power the brain and flow juices of educational creativity to enhance learning abilities.

Teachers and parents tend to ignore Cartoons while reading print newspapers and hardly encourage children to read the cartoon captions. I have held a class on 'Cartoon Learning' and got an amazing response with the 'Cartoon Project.' I have used the Cartoons as Critical thinking skill as well as a creative writing skills. I copy the cartoons to the power point slides and students visualize and discuss on the same. This focus on awareness, knowing the current happening topics and even act as Discussion starters and writing prompts.

Follow these tips while showing the cartoons:
1. What is the purpose?
2. What message it try to convey?
3. Debate on the topic
4. Paste cartoon clips in their scrap
5. Let them jot down the notings
6. Let the children communicate their ideas through art
7. Find opinions and reactions

As primary school children are not easy with political cartoons, I have tried using Educational cartoons, humor and focused on their favorite comic characters. One being Popeye and the other Archie, Betty, Jug head and Veronica. Children have fun reading the comic books and love to create their own cartoon clip writing their own creative message. Themes like 'Go Green' (Popeye and the sea) and 'No junk food' (Jug head eating junk) with their own remarks as they paste the characters in their 'Scrap books or call it, Spark Spiral Note books.' Kids love to use the word balloons in various shapes and even use stickers in case they are not good in drawing or in the mood to do so. Giving a free hand in learning is sometimes a blessing as we get willingness to participate and the results are even better.

Btw, the only one Political Cartoon that kids loved in my classroom was on the CM Narendra Modi as they've been great fan of this leader. They were keen to observe the message of the Cartoonist on him! In Political Cartoons, children need to be interested and even know the characters. And for this, it is first important to Teach kids about Politics and elections !

Well, explore the Literature Cartoons esp. Shakespeare characters here on Harp Week. It provides a revealing glimpse into the nineteenth-century world of Thomas Nast and Harper’s Weekly, and the influence that William Shakespeare had on it.

Also explore Popeye Cartoon Video and find the Lyrics - You can use this for classroom activity for Cartoon Project. Also find Dan Rosandich's Educational Cartoon and come back again to find a new one for a change. Stay tuned to Cartoon Kids Resources for more and follow other Resources page too.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Soul Curry for Kids : Kidsfreesouls in Simply Gujarati, India Today

Soul Curry for Kids : An online Portal for children that even includes information on Poetry-Did you know about this Worldwide Hit? says Jhumri Nigam Misra in Simply Gujarati, India Today (Issue on stands - 28th June, 2010) As she further adds, "Call her the Pied Piper with a modern twist" - It sure gives a feeling of joy to continue my journey at Swagat Children Library and at Kidsfreesouls - spreading the message of love, faith, peace and unity among human beings.

Being an explorer on web, life is and endless journey with 'No Stop' Destination. Presenting Kidsfreesouls and running a successful Children's Library, life becomes a full circle and sometimes blowing own trumpet do give a sense of pride! Enjoy my Press Pages here and of course, being an Editor for an online newspaper and Official Blogger and VA to the Editor of The Sunday Guardian, stay tuned to my world of Journalism.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Monday, June 21, 2010

World Music Day - Songs for children & Music Reviews

World Music Day - 21st June
This is my Synthesizer - the Yamaha Keyboards I love to play!

Music is speech of angels, a universal language of mankind. In music, one must think with the heart and feel with the brain and so, after every silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music! That’s when you dream and your every dream precedes the goal! Its like dancing away your blues to reach high for stars that lie hidden in your soul and this is when the heart and mind perform in harmony after all!

-Click for Songs for children Music Reviews

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Making connections

Schools begin and children are back to routines. Back to school is a celebration time for children as the long summer creativity calls in for a routine change and kids love to be with their school friends. Some old, some new but nevertheless, learning lessons and having fun too.

It is important for a parent to build a bridge of communication with the teacher as most of the hours, the teacher helps the child to learn and grow. The child needs not only the love and affection from parents and teachers but also need to set their goals and fulfill them.

One thing really important for a child is Making connections. Children do make friends on their own but yet, a parental guiding help can add to his positive friendship :

1. Help the child to be friendly. Simply listening or talking, sharing and appreciating the other and even sharing alikeness - for a video game or a even an activity in class.
2. Help the child to compete - In the sense, master the skills the others have and admire. Be it playing a keyboard or guitar, playing sports or arts.
3. Avoid being negative and impulsive. Listen to the child on what he has to say of his friends rather than stop him and showing your distaste of his friend. He may strong feel of his friend that you don't, maybe.
4. Help the child to solve conflicts. Social skills are necessary as they can learn to settle themselves at times of disputes with others.
5. Don't involve in small arguments of children. If they go physical, take your stand. Let the kids work out on their own.
6. Let the kids practice co-operation and understand feelings of others.
7. Help the kids to share, care and be kind and gentle with friends.
8. Know your child's friends. Invite them for play, birthday celebration

As for the teachers, it's the first few days to be like the acronym, "KISS" - Keep it Simple Stupid! Teachers can adopt innovative ideas at the start of the school and make learning fun. Encourage reading habits on daily basis in the classroom and even at home. Even follow up with a para handwriting practice everyday. This will help weaker children to learn faster. Above all, routinely writing book reviews per week and making journals. Encourage them to write simple jot downs and you can make Kids Blogs with Google sites - a sure fire-way to lift up the spirit of the children.

Teachers can write 'welcome letters to children' and invite parents to describe their child by simply letting them jot down on 'Child Development Review' - some points to fill as below:

1. Describe your child
2. What are your child's strengths
3. What are his hobbies - What he has been doing lately?
4. Does your child have any special problem or disability? Mention.
5. What concerns you have about your child?
6. What other activities does he attend apart from school?
7. Mention what improvement you require in your child.

This will give an insight to know the child, about their learning abilities and methods to adopt while dealing with children. Some kids are fast learners whereas some are branded as slow snail learners. What is required is to identify their weaker areas and diagnose their learning disabilities to apply strategies to combat difficulties.

More, it's to be friendly with kids. Keep the communication live and keep the perfect 'Discipline' in own self as well as the Class.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids

Monday, June 14, 2010

Theme a Party

Theme Parties are Fun! The most memorable Birthday Theme Party I ever organized was my son's first birthday. And later, the Swagat Dance Parties rocked with themes - costume to music and game dancing. Theme Parties are guaranteed to set balls rolling to entertain whether it's birthday or any occassion......

- Read more in Theme Parties - Presenting Chris Molnar of Themeparty on kidsfreesouls

- ilaxi
Newspaper for Kids

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Back to School : Create a Genius in your child

Back to School for kids. Time to 'Create a Genius' (From Guardian of Angels) in your Child. Children are with mixed feelings of excitement and leaving behind the creative activities with the bygone summer. New introductions with new teachers and new friends. New Prefects and class monitors or call them Student Teachers and all works great with a wee bit of anxiety at the start of the school routines. What is more important is to set goals, Check the hand writing from the beginning and overcome the homework hassles. Reading routine is another important aspect of student life because if a child has cultivated a reading habit, lessons are no boring sessions.

Check out BACK TO SCHOOL pages on Kidsfreesouls and follow rules of success to make best days of school life.

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Teaching syllabus is boring? Follow Projects

Last March, First Lady Michelle Obama celebrated Dr. Seuss Birthday by reading 'The Cat in the Hat' to over 200 local elementary school students at Library of Congress.

This reminds me, schools are just a fortnight away to reopen. Students in classroom enjoy the English text lessons especially "Cat in the Hat" and "The Grinch who stole Christmas." I have noticed, teaching syllabus to children is often boring and lessons like these when taught in classrooms with Question-Answers, meanings and reference to context are just a routine study for the child who lose interest in such wonderful stories. If we adopt movie shows or role play the characters, children love this.

Another thing is, following an activity related to the Lesson. It can be building vocabulary based on the words, go for vocabulary projects or a story project. Can be Dr. Seuss project where the child can be encouraged to pen down all about Dr. Seuss and his works.

Often we find, parents relying on subject lessons and follow tuition patterns. Instead, applying creativity and encouraging children to make simple projects, is fun and learning too.

You can find the June Calendar and Projects here. As Aesop's Birthday falls on 4th June, there's loads of ideas to celebrate with simple aesop's fables. Kids can read and write reviews, gather pictures and even make the Story Project. The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and The Dog in the Manger has been the favorite reads of the children at the Swagat Library.

Fill up happiness instead of bored effect on how to pass time on a sunday or holiday and stop kids to say, 'I am getting bored, what should I do?'

- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for Kids