Talk of innovative teaching techniques!
Dumb Charades, Tambola, Cricket, Snakes and Ladders, Ring Game, Aim the Target are some of the games that teachers in several parts of the country are using to help students understand their subjects well. These games have been customised to ensure students absorb lessons quickly and in a fun manner.
Snakes and Ladders
Mainly popular among primary students, the game helps teachers teach subjects like English and Hindi Grammar, Mathematics or Science.
Teachers usually paint the game of Snakes and Ladders on the floor. If the floor isn’t available, she/he draws the game on the blackboard so that it is visible to the entire class. The teacher then prepares questions (usually having one-word answers) from the topic she/he has taught. The questions are written on small sheets of paper which are then placed in a box. A dice and two tokens (goti) are created from a cardboard box for the purpose.
The class is then divided into two groups. One student from one group picks a question slip from the box. If his answer to the question is right, the team gets a chance to throw the dice. As per the number on the dice, the token is moved on the floor. If on the other hand, his answer is wrong, the next group gets a chance. This is how the game progresses. Just like in ‘Snakes & Ladders’, here too, the team that lands on the mouth of snake has to go back to the tail of the snake, and if they land on a ladder, they have to climb up. The team which reaches number 100 first, becomes the winner. This way, not only does a teacher ensure participation of all students in the game, but also revision of their chapter.
Aim The Target
In this activity, bottles are placed at a few metres from each other on the floor. The teacher writes correct as well as incorrect answers on a paper slip, and pastes them on plastic bottles. Students are then required to aim at the correct answer by throwing a ring or a ball. Questions vary from topic to topic and subject to subject. The game helps students take quick decisions, and develop hand-eye coordination.
We all love gifts. This is the motivation that drives students in this game.
For it, a grid is made on the floor or a rectangular/ square table marked with numbers on it. The teacher then prepares question slips which are placed beneath gifts kept in each box of the grid. Students are called upon and asked to throw the ring on an object of their choice. They are then supposed to answer the question attached with the object. If answered correctly, they get the object (gift). This way, the child is encouraged to study the topic/chapter in an interesting way.
This fun-filled activity is used by teachers for recapitulation or introduction of a new topic to students.
Students themselves select a topic or lesson from the syllabus. They learn keywords/ phrases/idioms from the lesson and prepare themselves for dumb charades. The teacher then divides the class into four teams A, B, C and D. Each team prepares its set of keywords/ idioms/phrases, etc. on small sheets of paper. A member of an opposite team is then required to pick a slip prepared by the team and enact it. For example, a member from team A will pick the slip prepared by team B, and enact what is written in the slip before his teammates. If his team (team A) is able to guess the correct answer, they get 2 points, else the other group (team B) gets 1 point.
The game helps students learn new words; develop cognitive, imaginative and creative thinking; and is beneficial for slow learners.
Mainly played to help students overcome the fear of Maths.
Students are given tambola tickets with numbers till 90. There is no transaction of money involved and students play for lines, corners or full house. The numbers are called in a different manner. For example, instead of calling number 2, it may be called, “Only even number which is prime.” Students are required to recognise the correct number. The idea is to help students recall all the numbers and their properties, and different mathematics concepts.
Cricket in Class
This is a bit different from the game that is played on the ground. It is called Oral Cricket and is meant for any class and all the subjects.
Once a topic is taught to students, the teacher then divides the class in two teams. Each team comprises 10 -15 members, a Captain and a Vice captain. The rules and regulations of the game are similar to cricket. The teacher, who is an umpire, tosses the coin. Whosoever wins the toss decides whether to bat or ball. Bowling here means asking questions to the other team while giving answers is equivalent to batting.
Question answered correctly within 2-4 seconds is counted as 4 runs. Correct answers given within 5-6 seconds are counted as 2 runs. If, however, a student gives a wrong answer, he/she is declared out. Similarly, question asked after 5 seconds is declared ‘wide.’ Bowlers must know the answers of their questions, otherwise it is considered as ‘no ball.’ Besides enabling revision of topics, the game helps students develop team spirit, a sense of equality and leadership qualities.
Benefits of this methodology:
- Students not only understand a new concept/idea in a better fashion but also experiment with different options
- Besides the subject knowledge, students develop skills like critical thinking, creativity, teamwork and sportsmanship.
- Students remember lessons better. Plus, they become attentive and interested in class.
Teachers using this method:
- Mukesh Kumar, Government Middle School, Paspura, Begusarai, Bihar
- Umendra Kumar Chandrakar, Government Primary School, Pandhi, Block Arang, Raipur, Chhattisgarh
- Gagandeep Kaur, Government Model High School, Karsan, Chandigarh
- Sunita Mondal, Government Primary School, Vijaygarh, Baratang, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
- Alka Bakshi, Geetanjali School, Begumpett, Telangana
- Deepa Desai, Vidya Niketan Public School, Bangalore, Karnataka
Source: Zero Investment Innovations For Education Initiatives (ZIIEI). It’s a mass-scale teacher outreach initiative started by Sri Aurobindo Society as part of its nation-wide education transformation programme, Rupantar. Every year, the society publishes a handbook which showcases outstanding ideas (implemented by teachers in India) to improve quality of education at zero investment. These ideas or best practices act as an inspiration for other teachers in the country who replicate them in their schools.