The entire hall was scattered with different materials – cardboard boxes, thermocol pieces, chart papers, colour pencils, sketch pens, crayons and paints, paint brushes of varying sizes. Animated discussions, arguments in hushed tones could be heard. As the teachers moved around giving instructions, the students of middle school jotted down points to get ready for the impending social studies exhibition, which was to showcase India’s history and geography.
All the social studies teachers, with help from teachers with an artistic bent of mind, between their classes, devoted their time to preparing a large backdrop on the chosen theme to adorn one wall of the exhibition room. We decided to paint the timeline showing Indian history beginning with the Indus Valley civilization moving to the magnificent architecture of medieval India and ending with the emergence of an independent modern India. The background also weaved in it some of India’s geographical delights.
The students planned to exhibit India’s first interplanetary mission – Mangalyaan, India’s space research programme, different types of vegetation, minerals, the production of hydro-electric power, dams, the major rivers of India. A special mention has to be made of the children’s enterprise in constructing the whole city of Pataliputra, the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) and its working, and the three tiers of the Panchayat Raj System. The students also made good use of the open area to display the four stages of life (four ashramas) of the Vedic period, the Dandi March and the seven gems that adorned Akbar’s court.
The exhibition was a great hit. The children’s enthusiasm never waned as they supported each other to make a huge success of their presentations.
School: Nasr School for Girls, Khairatabad, Hyderabad
The author is a teacher at Nasr School for Girls, Hyderabad. She can be reached at [email protected].