Rocks and minerals form a part of the middle and high school curriculum. The topic is not covered all at once – teachers will need to come up with teaching strategies that fit the level of age, interest and opportunities. In the first box below, you will see how the topic was introduced in a non-conventional classroom; the learners in this group have academic abilities ranging from classes V to VII. The conversation with that class shows that one does not have to use typical classification and listing methods to launch the topic. The teacher can key it into the lives of students – and games, which are highlighted in this example, are only one place to start.
“Do you play with stones? – Yes, kit-kit (a version of ekki-dokki), five stones, etc.”
“Do you use the same stone for both the games? – No, for kit-kit we look for flat ones; whereas to play five-stones, we must get round pebbles.”
“Can you not flatten the round ones for kit-kiti? – No, the flat ones are very different. They have layers of some kind, whereas the round ones appear to be uniform (homogeneous). Even the stones kept in the aquariums are different.”
The author is a teacher at Shikshamitra, Kolkata. She can be reached at [email protected].