Tuesday, April 5, 2011

NCERT Golden Jubilee Year
Interactive CIET  film show by Bichitra pathshala

Screening cum discussion of CIET films at Modern High School for Girls, Kolkata on March 17, 2011
Screenings attended by 180 students and teachers of Class III Sessions held:

1. Monkey Business

Film screened: Bandar Parivar

Facilitator: Subha Das Mollick

2. Water Water Everywhere
Films screened: Kaale Megha, Chhap Chhap
Facilitator: Sumita Majumdar

Monkey Business

Warming up discussion:

The facilitator initiated the discussions with the question,
“How many of you have pets?”

Many enthusiastic hands were raised and  the following replies came us:

“I have a dog”

“My nani has two dogs” “I have a Terrier dog” “My cousin has a cat” “My uncle has a parrot”
“My grandmother in Assam has rabbits”.

Facilitator, “Does anybody have a monkey”


Facilitator, “Do you know anybody who has a monkey”
Spattering of replies, “My cousin in Australia”, “My dad‟s friend in Ghana”

Facilitator, “Do you know a famous person who has a monkey as a pet, for whom the
monkey was something much more than a pet – a friend and companion?” Reply 1, “Michael Jackson‟
Reply 2, “Rama”

Facilitator, “Very good, but you have forgotten the ubiquitous monkeyman who goes around with his dug dugi and shows us monkey tricks. We develop a special bonding with monkeys because they are so similar to us. But Rama‟s monkey and the monkeyman‟s monkey are actually two different types of monkeys. One has a red face and the other has a black face. The world is full of monkeys – more than 300 types of monkeys are known to us. Let‟s take a closer look at some of them.”

The film Bandar Parivar was started. After the first segment on red faced monkeys
was over, the film was put on a „pause‟ mode and discussions continued. Facilitator, “What is it that makes monkeys so similar to us?”
Answer 1, “Their legs and hands” Answer 2, “They look like hominoids” Answer 3. “Sometimes they walk like us”
Answer 4, “Their mothers too feed the babies and carry the babies around.” Answer 5, “They pluck fruits from trees just like us”
Facilitator, “Very good. You all are very observant. So monkeys have paws just like us with four fingers on one side and the thumb on the other side. So they can grip things just like us. And just like us, monkeys have strong family bonding. Papa monkey, mama monkey and baby monkeys live together.”

Facilitators continues, “But monkeys are not really human. Are they? Tell me, how
are monkeys different from humans.” Reply 1, “Monkeys don‟t talk.”
Reply 2, “Monkeys don‟t cook”

Reply 3, “Monkeys have tails”.

Facilitator, “And tail is something that monkeys can be really proud of. If a lion is known by its roar, a peacock by its plume, a monkey is known by its tail. Let us see what kind of tail the black faced monkey has.”
The remaining part of Bandar Parivar was screened.

After the screening, the children were full of stories of monkeys.

Story 1: “When I went to Assam during the summer vacations, one day a monkey came into the room and
stole my grand ma‟s specs. To get back the specs, grandma offered two marie biscuits to the monkey. The monkey put down the specs to take the biscuits and grandma quickly picked up her specs. But she did not wear the specs again because the monkey had made them jootha.”

Story 2: “We had gone to a temple where there were so many monkeys. One monkey not only snatched away the Prasad from my cousin, it also slapped him.”

It turned out that many children had close encounters with monkeys and agreed that monkeys could get really aggressive.

The children then drew monkeys of various shapes and sizes with great enthusiasm.

To give the children a more indepth peek into lives of monkeys in various habitats, the first 15
minutes of David Attenborough‟s film Primates was played. They saw how monkeys survived under extremely difficult conditions from the rocky arid
land of Madagascar to the cold mountain in Japan. They witnessed how monkeys can be chauvinistic and clannish and can do anything for the best interest of their own clan. They saw the gorillas of Congo lazing around the whole day and munching this that and the other all day long to meet its food requirement of 40 KGs a day. They also saw tiny nocturnal monkeys with big ears and huge eyes that did not miss out on anything moving in the dark forest and feasted on all kinds of insects.

The children realized the diversity among monkeys and their adaptability to varied environmental conditions.

One student shot the parting question, “Do we have man eating monkeys?” The facilitator answered tentatively, “Not that I know of”.
Water Water Everywhere

“We all are here to watch films, but we shall begin by pricking our ears and listening carefully to the sounds that I shall play for you”, began the facilitator.

Water Water Everywhere

“We all are here to watch films, but we shall begin by pricking our ears and listening carefully to the sounds that I shall play for you”, began the facilitator.

sound you hear”.
“Close your eyes tight”, she continued, “and try to guess the 
Sounds of water coming from various sources were played one by one. 

The students guessed:
“These are sea waves”, “Raindrops”, “It‟s a splash!”, 
“I think it‟s a river flowing by”...and so on …and so on.

The facilitator said, “So you see, water is found everywhere – sea, river, tap, cloud,
pond, lake….and…..where else? What about inside our body?” “Yes, there is water inside our body”, the students said.
“And can you prove it to me?” 
“We sweat”, said one.
“We cry”, said another.

“We drink water”, said the third student, “and the water gets stored in our body.”

“What about plants?” asked the facilitator.

Without a moment‟s delay a student replied, “Plants have water and we can prove it by covering a bunch of leaves with a glass or plastic vessel for some time. We shall find that tiny droplets of water have collected on the wall of the vessel.”

“Excellent!”, admired the facilitator. “But where else do you find water? What about the air around us?”

“Yes, the air has water.”

“Can you prove it to me?” “OK, let‟s do an experiment”, she continued. “It seems like magic to me. I‟m sure, you‟ve seen it many times; yet, everytime I see it, it seems so magical.”

Facilitator put some ice in a glass and told the students to count 30 slowly.

After 30 seconds the students came up and felt the glass. It was moist. The water molecules in the air had condensed on the cold surface of the glass.
This simple experiment made way for the discussion on the water cycle.

The facilitator screened a simple animated film on the water cycle, where the animated illustrations were synchronized with the following rhyme:

“Water from little puddles turns to gas
Gas forms into fluffy cloud
Clouds get heavy and the rain comes down
Into puddles on the ground
Water cycle round and round
Vapour goes up and rain comes down
Water in the sky, in the ocean, in the ground
It’s all in a cycle going round and round“

The children learnt the lines of the rhyme and sang it in chorus.

The facilitator then showed a film compiled by her, where children discover properties of water as a solvent, as its ability to exist in three states, as necessary for our daily chores like washing and for the survival of all living beings. Here again the children spell out the properties of water in their self composed rhymes. For example, one child recites, “Ice is solid water/It makes my teeth chatter”

The necessity of water in our daily lives led to the discussion on monsoon and how all creatures eagerly wait for the first shower at the end of the long spell of summer.

The film Kaale Megha Paani De is a celebration of the great Indian monsoon. The children watched this film and then recalled all the animals they saw in this short musical film.

After this musical exuberance, the children felt inspired to draw water. They were asked to express the idea of water on their drawing sheets in whatever way they chose. Some drew clouds, while some drew a glass of water. Some drew rain, while some drew a stream.

Finally, the film Chhap Chhap was screened, where the children saw various animals enjoying a bath.

Posted by Debasish Mandal

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