Adventures with Learning to Teach

A roller coaster journey which started out with teaching a kid and a habit that developed a life of its own!!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fire without Fire

Hi, This is Vinay. My first post:-)
Christmas holiday classes called "Why?" got kicked off. Candles,Graphs,Evolution,Centre of Gravity,Sketch up and a lot more sessions...We had introduced constructivism as a part of our programme.Burning charcoal,friction cradle, fire by friction etc etc...

Why do all kids first use match sticks when they are asked to burn charcoal?( to learn abt ignition temperature ),... Why do all kids put burning paper on top of charcoal when they fail with match sticks?( to learn that hot flame goes up and not down),... Why do all kids rejoice that they have lit charcoal when they just see fire?( to learn the difference between fire and temperature ),... Why do all kids try to produce red hot iron on a candle flame when they are asked to produce it on charcoal stove? ( to learn the difference between heat and temperature ),... and on and on and on.....



But here is one meta reason for all these why questions. The great Murphy's law ( If something can go wrong then it will go wrong ). This is one place I thank Murphy wholeheartedly. He is making learning so very interesting.

One of our constructivist activity was to produce fire by friction as done in pre historic times... First two stones were taken to rub ( Thanks to our text books which jumps to final product without any intermediate steps )... Failed... Wooden sticks were used... Failed... At this point of time we decided to go to prehistoric times from 21st century instead of coming from pre historic times,.. We used petrol... Iron knives ( Iron age )...



Failed...
Kids recollected how their grannies used to churn curd...



Failed...
Bow - Drill method...



Failed...
We have only reached a stage to produce smoke but failed to get sustained fire out of it ( By the way, the wood used was turned and cut by specialists )...Gave up the mission doomed, dejected, depressed, distressed and desponded after trying nearly for a month:-(

One cool evening (nearly two months after Christmas classes), uncle was on a evening stroll... He saw few kids rubbing stones and wooden sticks...Curiously he asked what were they up to... They replied telling that they were trying to produce fire... It made him even more curious and asked how come they came to know fire can be produced by rubbing stones and sticks... They said they saw few people trying the same in a nearby home and got inspired to repeat it... We laughed our hearts out hearing this...

Though we haven't managed to produce the actual fire, we have lit the fire of curiosity among a few kids. Hope this spreads like wild fire and kids learn the way they are supposed to.

Fire without Fire...........

2 Comments:

  • At 1:47 AM, Blogger Srikanth K S (ಶ್ರೀಕಾಂತ) said…

    First time I came across this blog. This reflects the work at 'Cradles of innovation'. Brilliant ! keep it up.

    I suggest to put the address of the centre somewhere so that people can reach the organization.

     
  • At 6:12 AM, Blogger Raghu said…

    This comment has been removed by the author.

     

Post a Comment

<< Home