Learning Sense

Learning Sense

Every year on the Republic Day, Saraswati Mandir Trust’s pre-primary section organises an educative exhibition for its students. KG students have learned about such things as the various types of hobbies and simple craft techniques in the past. This year, on the occasion of Golden Jubille year of the school, the teachers wanted to do something different. One of them, Rati Bhosekar, came up with a unique idea of holding an exhibition on a subject from the children’s curriculum. She suggested to her principal Rohini Rasal that they must put up an exhibition of human sense   organs explaining how they create the five primary senses. Rasal, who liked this idea, immediately approved it and also outlined the method of executing.

The three-day Sense-Organs Exhibition was organised at the school premises from 25 to 27 January 2005. Besides all KG teachers contributing, many enthusiastic parents also chipped in their bit. In all, five classes were allocated for the five organs, one each for eyes, ears, nose, tongue and skin. Each class displayed a large, specially created thermocol model of an organ, accompanied by various charts and diagrams.

Mayor Sharda Raut, who happens to be an ex-student of the school, visited the exhibition on January 26. Raut was visibly impressed by the concept of the exhibition and showered the teachers with compliments on their efforts. The exhibition also pulled in teachers from other schools like New English and Bedekar Vidyamandir. And not without reason, for the pedagogy employed in explaining to children the role of the organs was rather interesting.

Groups of 20 children moved from one class to another and came out better informed about their sense organs. As the children entered the "tongue" class, they were first given plain water to drink. Then, they were given salted water and so on. The idea here was to explain how the tongue helped us differentiate between the assorted tastes. One parent had created a chart with various facial expressions that result from tasting different substances like sour, sweet, salty, spicy and pungent. When the children entered the "skin" class, they were greeted by a breeze of fresh air circulated by a table fan, indicating feel aspect of skin. There were various substances kept to explain the different touch-and-feel sensations that they generate. So children found that hay is rough to touch, while cotton is soft. Children also walked on sand and learnt than even feet can feel sensations. In the "nose" section, the children’s noses was subjected to various substances, some were odourless (water) and others emitted strong odours (medicines, chemicals). Children learnt how the nose helps them decide which odours were pleasant and which were repulsive. The "Ear" section featured sounds of different musical instruments. A cassette with sounds of rain, thunder, and ticking clock was also played. The "Eyes" section highlighted both pleasing (sun, moon and stars) and offensive (garbage) pictures. There was a flower rangoli to exhibit the various colours.

It is common knowledge that children learn better through watching a clear demonstration; they tend to get bored easily with long one-way monologues. The exhibition employed an experiential method of teaching, such that children were completely involved in the learning process. Throughout the exhibition tour, children were shouting and laughing – enjoying the various little experiments they were subjected to. And at the end of the tour, the little children had, perhaps for the first time, consciously experienced the functioning of their own sense organs. Quite a sensible method of teaching, that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *