The Literula Week
Imagination, Creativity, Vocabulary, Action, and Thrill.
Stories and books and the love for them is as old the invention of language and that’s why Shiv Nadar School Gurugram celebrated an entire week, "The Literula Week".
Storytelling is a universal and traditional and much-loved art form that features strongly in the Indian culture as an effective and efficient communication tool.
The first day of Literula Week started with eager anticipation in the Nursery corridors. The day was special as parents had been invited to start this very engaging week. The children, as expected, were very excited to see mothers as visitors in their class. The books read out were ‘Brown bear, brown bear’ by Bill Martin Jr or ‘Head to Toe’ by Eric Carle. The mothers did an astounding job by engaging and grasping each child’s attention with voice modulation, props, and puppets. A well-planned craft was accomplished by every child.
On the second day of the Literula week, children went to the Junior and Senior school library, a wonderful way to get acquainted with the books and to inculcate reading habits. Children were thrilled to see books all around. They were also, familiarized with the rules to be followed in the library.
On the third day of the Literula Week, children re-read the initial story, using puppets and props. After listening to it students expressed their creative side by freehand illustrations, which later got compiled into a class book
On the fourth day, senior members, including the Principal and Primary Head, from the Shiv Nadar team visited each class for a storytelling session.
After a week-long celebration, the culmination was full of fun & enthusiasm as children came dressed in their favourite story character for Show and Tell. The corridor was bubbling with laughter and joy throughout the day as each book character come alive through them. To spread the happiness Nursery children went on a character parade crossing through the KG corridor, where KG children cheered them up with claps. Thus ended the very first Literula week for our little ones.
The Kindergarten chose to celebrate author Julia Donaldson’s books, like – A squash and a squeeze, Room on the Broom, Tiddler, The Gruffalo’s child and The Smartest Giant in town. Each class picked one of her books and centred their activities around it. To get the week rolling, Parents and Grandparents were invited for storytelling sessions, followed by craft activities based on the stories. The students were visited by the ‘Book Fairy’, who introduced the children to various parts of a book and taught them how to handle books. Their excitement was doubled when they received bookmarks from her.
The teachers retold the stories, introducing new words, which helped enhance their vocabulary. The enactment by the teachers of the new words learned got the children very excited. The students were later engaged in sequencing the story, this was to develop their aural and recall skills. The students later had the opportunity to listen to other stories written by Julia Donaldson. A reading corner was set up in the foyer. Based, on the story, thought-provoking questions were asked to understand their comprehending skills.
A short visit to the School Junior library was also on the agenda. Here the students were explained the purpose, rules, and regulations of the library by the Librarian. “DEAR”, drop everything and read time was introduced, wherein the students were asked to pick up a book from the class library and read.
The week’s hustle and bustle came to end with a splendid take-away in the form of illustrations by the tiny tots of their favourite word from the ‘word-wall’.
The Primary Section students were not to be out-done by their juniors, they were engaged in diverse literary activities. In order, to motivate the students to read and appreciate the same, each Primary section grade picked on an author, Gr. 2 chose Panchatantra, Gr.3 chose Ruskin Bond, Gr.4 chose Roald Dahl and Gr. 5 chose R.K. Narayan.
Grade 1. A book fairy visited the ‘Books on the roll’. Students loved to learn about the Author David Melling and the main character Hugless Dougless. ‘नन्ही उंगलियाँ ‘brought a lot of warmth & curiosity to discover the book world to our junior brigade. Taking running records of student’s oral reading and asking them comprehension questions via Book drive was a fantastic way to learn about students decoding abilities, fluency, comprehension, and even vocabulary knowledge.
Our students completely relished the story session with the grandparents. They put a great show while sharing their favourite book.
Children explored the elements of the story, understanding the main character of the story. It was inspiring to see the little brains at work analyzing their favorite stories. They used the best of their imagination and creativity to illustrate the cover page of their own story with an interesting title.
Mr. Bear's bookmark "Books on a roll" installation to stories, illustration, finger impressions, and discussion sessions truly help each one us turn into engaged readers.
Grade. 2 storytelling sessions by Parents and Grandparents were much enjoyed. They discussed the morals as well as values of the story, like the “The Elephants and the Hares”. They learned that we must look for solutions and live together peacefully. To boost the creativity and imagination the children prepared a cover page for the story and wrote about their favorite character.
Grade. 3 learned about the Ruskin Bond’s life, interests, style of writing, stories, characters, etc., from their peers, the 4th graders, who dressed up like the celebrated author and visited all the sections. Guessing the books from their covers, a summary of a few of Bond’s short stories had the children hooked. They tried their hand at story writing from a story map, creating their own stories based on Ruskin Bond story titles. Writing their own little novels with illustrations, designing the cover page, was indeed a novel experience.
The 4th Graders dressed up as Roald Dahl, visited their peers, talking and asking questions about his life and work. This led to various activities revolving around Roald Dahl’s books in the form of making a timeline of his life and works. Each section created book covers of the books they choose from Roald Dahl’s repertoire. They kept in mind all the details, the title, author’s name, illustrations, theme, funny blurbs and even the price of the books.
Gr. 5, followed suit when one of them dressed up as R.K. Narayan and spoke about his life journey and body of work, following it up with a power point presentation. Students jotted notes to create a timeline of the celebrated author. A chapter reading from ‘The Malgudi School days’ led to a story discussion and filling up the chapter review sheets. They created beautiful booklet covers keeping in mind the essentials of the story.
Grandparents of Grade II -V came prepared with scripts, props, and after-story activities for the children, for the storytelling event. A warm and engaging experience reinforced the impact of learning via storytelling. The children expressed their gratitude with ‘Thank You” notes to the Grandparents. The culmination was the ‘Gallery Walk’, where the students walked around, observed and read the cover pages, novels, and booklets prepared by other grades students.
Storytelling, enactments, and interactions, putting pen/pencil/crayons to paper to create their own stories with pictures in the form of books. Each activity was curated age appropriately and were all integrated to maximize the fun and learnings. The ‘Literula Week’ definitely rekindled the love for reading, writing and creating books. The classrooms and corridors bear testimonials of the fun our children had through the week.