Saturday, August 23, 2014

Independence Day at The Book Club

I missed updating about the last book club meeting and as Saturday is here I don't want to have two meetings on my conscience, so here I am.

Remember, the weekend before Independence Day I had been awaiting my package from Amazon? Well they did oblige and I got my copy of We the children of India by Leila Seth just in time for our meeting. It is an amazing book for kids 8 years and above and a wonderful way to acquaint them with the constitution and the preamble. We had a great time reading it. I wish I could have handed out a copy to each of the kids but a photocopy of an excerpt had to suffice. We were so engrossed in reading it that we had no time left for an activity.

So then last week we started off with a craft activity. We made these super cute book readers. Check them out. The kids drew their favourite book cover and pasted them on. 

We read an excerpt from Swami and Friends by RK Narayan; the bit when he throws his cap in the fire. It's a wonderfully warm story of a child's first taste of the war for independence. The idea was as hazy in Swami's head as in the kids of today. I hope they do imbibe his enthusiasm and love for his country.
This week we intend to act out the passage. I'm ready with the dialogues. It was quite a challenge to make sure all the kids have almost the same number of dialogues.

Before I sign off let me show off these covers too which we did for the kids' Book Club Files.

They get to fill in details and colours to personalise them while retaining some bit of uniformity.

The story for the coming week will be, finally, The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde again. However I have a feeling in today's session we'll not manage much reading. The play acting's going to be too much fun. Looking forward to a happy session.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Too much to do, too little time

You know why we need friends? To kick our backsides when we really need to get going. I have spoken about my dear friend Shailaja and how she pushed me to take up the April A to Z Challenge. Well she's done it again. It's not a challenge this time - she pushed me into doing a guest post for her amazing, award winning blog momdiary.blogspot.com. 

My friend Google threw this up. How appropriate, isn't it?
I am barely managing to post once a week on my own blog, not even updating my book club meetings which, by the way, are getting ever more fun every week. What's worse I am posting the guest post update full two days after it was published on hers. Yes I should die of shame.

The bright side, though, is that I did manage the post for her blog. Speaks volumes of her capacity as a motivator. Thanks Shailaja for hosting me. So if you haven't read my take on Sibling Rivalry at Shailaja's and have a pair of constantly quibbling kids, do hop over and take a look.

Here's the link.


The thing is, of late I have taken up an assignment, a minor one but an assignment nonetheless. Plus there's the book club. Each time I'm free I find myself reaching for the iPad and googling "Short stories for kids". And there's been a barrage of activity at home - birthdays, festivals, socialising. Not being one of those flamboyant kind of people, I feel overwhelmed with too much activity. I like my routine. A once-in-a-week upset works; more than that and I'm thrown out of gear.

However, the moral of the story is that I can make time if I try really hard. So here's one post and another one coming up shortly.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Flame of the Forest

"Flame of the forest", friends had called her once, for her fiery writing.

Slowly, insidiously life crept upon her.
The fire slept.

One day, at long last, reignited by the vibrant flaming flowers at her window, she took up the pen again reliving her passion, savouring this reunion with herself.

The drabble is done for the picture prompt (above), the word prompt 'Reunion' and the phrase prompt 'At long last'.

Linking to the Fiction Challenge 'From 15 to 50' at the Moving Quill hosted by super mum and good friend Shailaja.

Monday, August 04, 2014

Dragons and giants at the book club

Come Saturday and it was the second meeting of The Book Club. Since our last story was about a dragon we kicked off with a craft activity - making a dragon out of paper cups. It was fun if a little chaotic, but the kids seem to thrive on the confusion.

Hard at work
This is what they looked like.. Not very 'scary dragonish' but dragons nonetheless. As one of the kids put it, 'It doesn't need to look scary since the dragon of our story was a nice one.' Which was of course undebatable!


I have to add that N behaved perfectly while H was as much trouble as possible. Twice I turned him out and twice I took him back in. 

Story of the week

The story for the day was The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde. The older kids were thrilled because apparently they were doing it in school too. Like last time, they were all eager to read, which is suprising since I thought that would be too much like school and they wouldn't like it. Rather than an exercise in reading it turned out to be an exercise in patience as they waited for their turn. 

Over chips and biscuits we dealt with some interesting words. We took turns trying to talk in a 'gruff' voice like a giant. We discussed the difference between frost and snow. The kids wanted to know what hail was too. One of the girls wondered what a peach looked like and because we happened to have one it was seen and duly appreciated. The demand for more chips was firmly declined because often mouths were found to be too full to read!

Then we stumbled upon some similes and metaphors and so we talked about them. Here's how the kids figured out the difference.
Simile: H is as naughty as a monkey.
Metaphor: H is a monkey.

So his naughtiness wasn't in vain after all!

We had barely done half the story and it was way past our stipulated time of one hour so it was a wrap.

For next week..

Activity on The Selfish Giant

I'm at a bit of a loss on this. I thought we could maybe...

1. Make a 'perfect garden' diorama together. However, it's the 'together' that might pose problems unless I plan and allocate tasks.

2. Or maybe they could make their own gardens out of playdough but that would involve arranging for boxes. I definitely do not want to pressure the mums at home.

3. Or we could do something on winter fruits and flowers.

What do you think? Which one should I go with? Do drop a line if you can think of anything else to do with giants, winter, selfishness, gardens. I'm hoping I can figure something out till the next meeting.

The story for next week

...is almost decided - The Happy Prince. Another one from Oscar Wilde. Maybe I can tell them a bit about the author too then. Or, if Amazon obliges, I'll take up We the Children of India by Leila Seth. This one is suggested by my sister. Thank you S.

Huge thanks to all of you too for your suggestions from last week. I'm already on the lookout for a story that can be acted out like Cathy suggestedUma, special thanks to you. Pratham books has some great titles as well as Art Tales. Sangeetha those quizzes are a great idea but I'm keeping them for later. For a month at least the focus is completely on having fun. Taking baby steps.


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