Monday, March 3, 2014

Some things you just gotta do!

 Abhay’s favourite weekday is Wednesday as the said day’s time-table comprise of both Art class and PT class!  Abhay does not look forward to Monday as the day’s timetable comprise of two sessions of Environmental Science and Maths each! As children grow up, some take time to get down to the business of serious studies…..Abhay is one of them!  Sure …….he is all ears when the EVS lesson was on “Earth and its Neighbours” or “Volcanoes” or “Tornadoes” and other such interesting concepts of science. But he has to realize that it’s a package after all…..and a lesson like “Festivals of India” comes with it! While it’s true  that today’s schools have been employing innovative teaching methods and fewer assessments to make learning fun, but the flipside to it is that children expect everything to be turned into fun….otherwise it’s plain “boooring”!!! Well……Abhay sure wishes that the whole day would comprise of just drawing and art! Sometimes….we all wish so....dont we??  

Today we read about a pup who has similar issues. “I gotta draw” by Bruce Degen is about a an anthropomorphic pup named Charles Muttnik  who just loves to draw anywhere, anyplace and anytime! So when school reopens after summer, Charles discovers that the new academic year is full of surprises……especially the kind he doesn’t like. His class teacher Ms. Rich turns out to be the strict one insisting on being quiet and attentive in class, making them queue up for everything…with no talking or laughing. Ms. Rich gets them to read a lot, write a lot and do lots of lots of arithmetic. Charles is dismayed to find that there is not a lot of drawing to do in the new academic year. Poor Charles, who's just gotta draw, ends up doodling all over ….in his notebook, worksheets and even on his spelling tests.  Charles learns the hard way that his teacher is not too pleased with his drawings … his parents are summoned for a meeting. Predictably, his parents are not  pleased too…..and the result being “No TV, No Ice cream, No Movies, No nothing”! As Charles turns in a class project on climate zones…albeit …in an illustrated version, his teacher concedes his passion for drawing. She devises a way in which Charles can continue to draw while learning English, Science and even Maths. So when the whole class learns to spell pickle, Charles is asked to draw a picture of pickle while spelling it aloud. Similarly, as the whole class learns of the five boroughs that makes up New York City …Charlie learns the same by drawing the visuals. Charles couldn’t have been happier…….and soon the whole class follows suit! Though this picture book is meant for children of all ages, I feel the humour is best understood by kids aged five and above. A hilarious picture book that also has us introspect into traditional methods of learning. I love the part where Charles  walks into the first day of school muttering “When you’re a kid, there’s no escape. Summer ends and you gotta go to school. That’s the law”! J So Abhay …when you are kid, there is no escape…..along with learning things you love the most, you gotta learn things you may not enjoy best! That’s the law! J

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