“Michael Jackson is dead, ma’am. They said his coffin is made of gold.” That’s Rohit.
“He was a big rock star, ma’am. And he danced. We saw on TV,” says Anirudh.
“We saw it on TV, Anirudh,” I respond.
“Yes, ma’am. We saw it on TV. We saw his children also, ma’am.”
“He had a palace, ma’am. He called it Neverland. Why did he call it Neverland?”
“Have you heard that before? … Neverland?”
“Yes, ma’am… Peter Pan!”
I take lessons for children, 7-10 year olds, in grammar and writing. I find them more interested in happenings in their own lives, and things happening around them. I do not take formal lessons, but we talk, discuss, analyse… and, with a little direction, the necessary learning happens. That particular day, we talked for a little while about Michael Jackson, and each of us kept adding information. The children then wrote a paragraph about him, and we discussed the order in which the sentences should appear. We could also identify successfully, from their own words, the parts of speech that they had used. (We had learned, in some of the previous sessions, to identify words as belonging to a certain part of speech depending on their usage.) All in all, it was a successful lesson.