How many shoes do we really need?
Do we think about how much paper we use, how much we waste?
These were the kind of questions that the primary school children of Inventure Academy explored and mulled over in their lessons over the last three months. Starting with field trips that included surveys, interviews and photographs, the children developed awareness around the theme of ‘How Much Do We Really Need?’
This morning, as a Celebration of Learning, they shared all that they had discovered and learnt with their parents. 398 children performed for an audience of nearly 800 parents and grandparents, encapsulating their learning with fine art, music and movement. With expert input from the Shankar Mahadevan Music Academy that worked with the children on a regular basis for over two months, the students conveyed their understanding about a global concern for the future of our planet through a range of displays.
Appreciation of rural and urban lifestyles and what each could learn from the other was explored through visits to neighbouring villages by the students of grades one and two. Their findings found expression in the stories of the Town Mouse and the Country Mouse and the Tourist and the Farmer. With a generous dash of songs in Kannada, Hindi and English, accompanied by dance sequences, and supported by brilliant art work done by the children themselves, the audience was regaled with the conclusions that people in cities and villages were dependant on each other to achieve a balanced life style.
Grades three and four focused on the use of plastic and paper with the mantras of Reuse, Recycle, Reduce and Replace being stressed with the display of large scrolls of paintings in the Poto Chitro style, accompanied by folk and contemporary melodies in English, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali and Tamil. Questions about deforestation to make paper and the toxic effluents of paper making were presented in Haiku accompanied by percussion ‘Bol’ and solutions were offered in chants of various kinds.
Grade five represented all the natural and human resources that go into making devices that we take for granted – a pencil, a tennis shoe and an ipad. They represented the processes through mime and stomp – a dance form originating in Native American communities.
The grand finale was the arrival of Shankar Mahadevan himself and his singing of Taare Zameen Par, accompanied in the chorus by all 398 kids! He also sang Senorita for the teachers of Inventure and the Shankar Mahadevan Academy, a fitting tribute for all the tireless hard work that had gone into this project.
It was evident to the audience that the children had had a joyous journey of learning, culminating in their presentation, and hopefully, would have built attitudes that will last a life time, of caring for and sharing our planet earth.
Education and Music