Library classes/time should be the most important part /class/period in a school’s curriculum, but sadly this gets sidelined across a lot of schools and is also categorized under the second priority when it comes to course completion and other activities. Thankfully some emphasis has come through extra reading evaluation started by CCE, but still a hell lot is still to be done. A lot of work can be done in junior classes to make them interested in reading. At our school we have been working on this, I am listing down my 5 favourite activities we have been trying to do with the students.
1. Building the story Pyramid
Each of the students given a book, like a small mostly pictorial in nature along with some text. The student reads it and later is given a worksheet to describe the book in the form of a pyramid.
Line 1 — one word, stating the name of the main character
Line 2 — two words, describing the main character
Line 3 — three words, describing the setting
Line 4 — four words, stating the problem
Line 5 — five words, describing one event
Line 6 — six words, describing a second event
Line 7 — seven words, describing the third event
Line 8 — eight words, stating the solution to the problem
for example (Ramayana)
Ayodhya, Successor, Old Father
Stepmother, Ambition, Brother, Exile
Sita, Kidnap, Hanuman, Monkey-Army, Bridge
War, Vibhishan, Fire in Lanka, Medicine(Sanjeevani), Ten Heads Ravana, Jatayu
Victory, Truth, Airplane, Back to home, Peace, Ram Rajya, Brothers united
2. A permanent section in the school student’s almanac
For the entire year, we have created a permanent section in the almanac for the teacher/librarian.Student/parent to track the list of books they have read during the entire year. This is supplemented by a worksheet or by a group discussion after reading each of the books where students talk about the following aspects of the book;
What have they read
Who is the author
The idea in the story
Does it happen in real life
3. Train journey in the school library
Students are asked to make a train with one behind the other, the librarian becomes the engine. The train stops at all major landmarks within the library. The various section inside the library like Newspaper, Magazine, Biographies, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Encyclopedia, General Books, Reference books, Audio Visual corner. This way the students get an idea of what is in store for them.
4. Locating my Favourite Fairy Tale Book
Students are given ideas about fairy tale stories and are asked to go and search the book in the library. Once they have found and read it. They are asked to fill in details on the worksheet which are as follows;
- Who is the author?
- Accession/ Call number of the book.
- In which section was it kept.
- Draw an illustration of the lead character on the page.
This one is simple, students are first told about the encyclopedias and information stored in them, Students are then divided into groups and each of the group is given an encyclopedia. The teacher throws different question to different question which is housed inside their respective encyclopedia. The teams have to find the answers, the fastest group wins the contest.
There are many more ideas in terms of the worksheet which can be done, but there is also a fear of converting the library into another class. Anyway, I hope the librarians can derive some joy out of the activities listed above.