Sunday, May 2, 2010

Starting Off

We began on Day 1 by introducing ourselves and Farah the artist-lady to the children. We gave them an overview of what the project was all about.

We then asked them to put down on paper what their idea of 'shelter' was. Sheet after sheet had the same stereotypical landscape - that of two hills with a rising sun in between and a house with a sloping roof in the foreground! This was what they probably thought was expected, we however wanted what the children actually felt and thought.

We brain-stormed and came up with a few games to help them understand what the whole gig was about. For instance the children were divided into four teams and each team was then asked to 'build' a house using themselves as the material. It was amazing to watch what they came up with - we even had a deity in one of the creations, complete with a priest! Once a team made their house, a couple of children from another team sketched it on the whiteboard - as it would look if made from normal building materials. Look carefully for details we said. The idea was to teach them to visualize and put it down on paper. Much laughter and enthusiastic cheering ensued.

The rest of the day was spent in more such exercises which broke the ice between us and them, helped them come together as a team, emphasised the importance of observation and concentration and were great fun!

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