The world runs on coffee!

Many of us cannot do without coffee. Some love its smell and some its taste, some love it hot and some cold, some love the instant version and some are purists, some fall in love over it and some fight for it; few are those who are able to ignore it. Let us talk about coffee with children – where it came from, its journey over the years and, of course, how it is a part of our lives today!

What comes out of the wood(work)?

Sharmila Govande
From using the bark of trees to cover his body to making intricate carvings and sculptures, man has come a long way in reimagining wood. Whether in its most basic form as doors and windows or as exquisitely carved art and furniture, wood is omnipresent in our lives. As we trace the evolution of wood to the modern day, let us learn a little bit of geography, math, language, culture, and technology along the way.

Let’s get beezy with Bees!

Adithi Muralidhar
Did you know that bees are the most important living beings in the planet but they are at risk of facing extinction? Bees are part of biodiversity on which we all depend for our survival. As pollinators, they contribute directly to food security. Bees are therefore absolutely critical for our ecosystem. A topic on bees can engage students in science, math, social studies and even critical thinking.

Animals on the move

Sunita Biswas
The recent translocation of eight cheetahs into the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh can serve as an interesting learning exercise touching across all disciplines. From geography, history to even creative writing, children can be introduced to a fascinating tour of wildlife and the movement of animals. Debates surrounding the ecosystem and the pressure on land resources can be part of extended activities helping students to understand various facets of this initiative.

Natural calamities – a challenge for survival

Prachi Ranadive
Come rainy season and flooding is quite a common sight in the metro cities of India today. At other times, we also experience severe drought. Tsunamis, hurricanes, cyclones, earthquake, wildfires — the natural disasters that strike not just India but the world are many and human behaviour towards the environment is only increasing their frequency and intensity. Natural disasters lead to both loss of life and property and leave behind significant economic damage besides affecting people in other ways. A knowledge of natural disasters, how to prepare for them and how to mitigate their effects is important learning. Here are suggestions to help you introduce and discuss the topic in class.

WAR – the nadir of human civilization

How and why do countries go to war? Can a war really resolve conflict among nations and people? What lessons can students learn from the wars that were fought earlier? This month’s project discusses all these questions and more along with activities that will help students understand the nuances of war and that history is always with us.

Beaches and coastlines: what do you see?

Rachana Rao
Beaches are important ecosystems we need to preserve and protect for our own sakes and for the many life forms that are dependent of them. Like all things in life, it is only when we experience the beach that we will do what is necessary to protect it. So get out and take a walk on the beach, feel the cool breeze and smell the ocean.

What colour do you see?

Colours bring our world alive. We are naturally attracted towards them. We are more likely to pick the most orange of carrots on the vegetable cart or the deepest red rose from a bush. Colours impact our moods, colours delight us. The natural world uses colour to both attract and hide. Go on this most fascinating journey of the physics, biology, language and art of colours with your students.

From the fearsome belly of the earth

Volcanoes can be dangerous and majestic too. What causes volcanoes to form, erupt or even stay dormant for years? This month’s project takes a close look at volcanoes and outlines activities that teachers can use to help children in middle and high school to learn about them.

Learning about pandemics while living through one

Shruti Singhal
Pandemics are no longer something we used to read about in history. We are living through one right now and perhaps that is why it is also the best time to learn more about them and from them. These are difficult, exhausting and trying times but learning more about pandemics while experiencing one needn’t be hopeless and dark. Here are a few ways of how you can make the subject interesting and worthwhile for your students.