Learning: 2014 – 15

Field trip to an Insectarium

Have you ever watched a scary movie about insects – ‘The Fly’ or ‘Arachnophobia’ – and then got scared? Have you ever jumped in the air, screeching, because you’d seen a cockroach?
Well, I haven’t! I have always loved insects and have been quite fearless. I am always the one to remove the spider as my mother runs screaming from the room. I mean, have you ever seen the vibrant colours on a butterfly or tasted the honey a bee makes?!

So I was particularly excited to hear about our class field trip to an Insectarium, where we would find all kinds of insects. Now I imagined that we were going to a huge museum, full of bugs. However, we ended up in a place that looked like a hut – no bigger that our classroom! As we walked inside, my jaw dropped in awe. We were surrounded by wonderful insects, like a mini-jungle. I could hear the crickets chirp, the buzzing of the bees and flutter of the tiny wings on the flies.

Walking around, I first saw larvae of the silk moth. My word, the beautiful silk blouses my mother wears come from these very creatures! Next I came upon the bees, of which there were two kinds – the oriental bee, of the stinging variety and the Indian stingless bees. As one of the bees came buzzing next to me, I smiled with glee. This little speck of yellow and black certainly knew a thing or two about honey! I then quickly grabbed my friend to show her the dung beetles, which were as small as a grain of rice! Then I saw a fruit fly, which was even smaller, if you can believe it! I stopped in my tracks when I saw the butterflies, so elegant, in vivid colours, electric blues, and greens and pinks and reds. My eyes were dazzled! I twirled around soaking in the colours – it was magic!

We stepped forward and I saw a praying mantis, a stick insect, and even a chameleon catching a fly. I even saw a ladybird – red with black spots and wings – smoothly flying from one leaf to another. We looked at backswimmers, which are interesting, because as the name suggests, they swim upside down. They can even painfully bite humans, like a mosquito. But they live in fresh water, in ponds, lakes and marshes, so think before you take a dip next time!
My friends and I stopped before the spiders. We saw one that was big, hairy, black and fast-moving. I was so glad that it was in a glass box – this one even scared me! Another scary insect was the predatory cricket. It is also known as the ‘spiked magician’ because it waves its limbs as it approaches its prey. These insects move quickly, catching their prey by suddenly leaping on them and grabbing them with their legs. I could almost feel it watching me with its beady eyes… ready to pounce…. We even saw the vicious antlion, an insect that preys mainly on ants, therefore he is a lion among the ants. He is scary, hiding under the sand and attacking passing insects.

The last insect we saw was a dragonfly nymph under water. I could go on and on about all of the insects, but I want to thank my teachers for introducing me to the wonderful world of insects! It was a truly memorable field trip.

Isabella Verma, Std. 04


“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your whole world for the moment.”
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986)

The students of Std. 04 have been learning about the life-cycle of a flowering plant as part of their Science unit. We wanted to integrate the students’ learning about flowers with a study of the works of the iconic American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. O’Keeffe was one of the pioneers of Modernism in American Art. She broke away from the traditional representative and realistic style of painting, and created hauntingly beautiful landscapes, charcoal abstracts, and most famously, flowers. Her flowers— irises, lilies, roses, violets, poppies—are painted up close and seem larger than life; it is almost as if we were peering into the heart of every flower, magnified a thousand times.
In preparation for making ‘Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers’, students were encouraged to take close-up photographs of flowers at home. They had to bring in printouts of their efforts – which were works of art themselves.
Following the preparatory phase, we had expert help in the person of Ms. Valli, Srishti faculty and Aditi parent. The students were now given a sheet of watercolour paper each, and were asked to choose a flower from among the photographs that they themselves had taken. Ms. Valli encouraged students to look even more closely at the flowers, focusing on the reproductive parts at the heart of each flower. They had to fill their entire canvas with a single bloom – not even reaching the ends of the petals, in keeping with what O’Keeffe herself said:
“It is only by selection, by elimination, and by emphasis that we get at the real meaning of things.”
After they had drawn a pencil outline of their chosen flowers, the students were given oil pastels to work with. These oil pastels (ingeniously procured by Ms. Jhumki), when worked on with a damp brush, transform to create a watercolour effect! The students themselves were fascinated with the process, and worked hard at creating nuanced pictures, with subtle shading. The end result of all their work was stunning! The students were justifiably proud of their creations.

Prep: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The word ‘chocolate’ would excite most people, more so the Preparatory students. I guess that is the reason reading the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, by Roald Dahl is a sure hit in Preparatory .

The title itself grabs the children’s interest, and by the end of the very first chapter, when all the characters from the Bucket family have been introduced, the Preparatory children have nothing but compassion towards them and their poverty. They are ready to build a house for Charlie, buy him sweets, share their lunch with him…. What a great way to enthuse the students into writing messages and letters to Charlie!

With the help of class parents, we organised a Chocolate Fun Day in Preparatory. The class was organised like the chocolate factory which had three work stations. This involved chocolate tasting, understanding and measuring the ingredients that go into making chocolate and actually making chocolate. At the final work station, children decorated and packed their little chocolate cupcakes into boxes that they took home.

Willy Wonka flagged off the children to a Treasure Hunt which included reading simple clues. The final clue brought them back to him. He then handed each child a Wonka bar which had a golden ticket in it. Oh, the excitement in their faces as they unwrapped those bars!

We continue to watch the movie as we proceed with the book.

Our Trip to Chitrakala Parishat

We have been learning about insects in Science, so our teachers thought of taking us to an exhibition of insect photographs to Chitrakala Parishat.

We went on a bus and when we got there, it was crowded. It always seems crowded. I think this is because there are so many stalls. In the middle there is a big white building that has pillars in front. There are many banyan trees around it.

It was snack time when we got there so we found some rocks to sit on (which were full of ants) and ate our snack. It was a sunny day, so we tried to sit in the shade. We quickly finished eating and headed to the exhibition.

The pictures were crystal-clear. My favourite insect was the Malabar Peacock butterfly. It looked just like a tiny, flying peacock. There was another picture I liked. It looked as if the ants were sharing secrets. It was like a team-huddle!

I wondered how the photographers managed to get such lovely pictures. The insect pictures have convinced me to become a photographer. There were many other good pictures apart from my favourites. We tried to write all the names, but there were too many.

Soon we heard a rather familiar voice saying, “Kids, it’s time to go downstairs!”

Now was when the adventure began. We were still looking at all the pictures, but I started to get a tingling feeling, my heart was beating fast – the next second a light bulb BURST! Glass pieces all over the place! It was a mess! The teachers asked if we were all right and with that, we moved away from the lights. I even made a poem out of it. I called it ‘Light bulb Disaster’. Here it comes:

Glass pieces on the floor

When it burst I heard a loud roar.

Do you know? Then guess who?

It’s most likely to be YOU!

Do you like it? I made it up for fun!

Next, we went to a painting shop. I felt a bit gross, because some of the people in the paintings were naked.

Finally, after all the adventures, we went back to school and ate our lunch. As I ate, I thought of our next field-trip adventure, wondering where we would go next.

Rhea Matheikal, Std. 04

A Project on Landforms in Std. 03

Students of Std. 03 studied various landforms as part of a unit in Earth Sciences. They connected their learning about the structure of the earth and its layers, to the process of how landforms take shape. The unit culminated with the students of Std. 03 working in collaboration with Std. 12 Art students to create a ‘Landscape of Landforms’ – a three dimensional rendition of landforms using an array of materials and methods.

Std. 02, TRIP TO IAIM – A report

As part of their unit on Plants, students of Std. 02 went on a field trip to the Institute of Ayurvedic and Integrated Medicine (IAIM) in Yelahanka. They had an opportunity to observe, touch, smell and taste a variety of medicinal plants. Students also acquired a first-hand experience of a temperature controlled greenhouse and enjoyed getting drenched in the fine mist used for this purpose. The field trip ended with a rest and a snack under the shady trees in the lush green lawns.

Std. 02, visit to Sir M. Vishveshwariah’s museum

Std. 02 learnt about people who have contributed to the development of India in various ways. One of them was Late Sir M. Vishveshwariah. To gain an insight into his life, the class visited his residence (which has been converted into a museum) and Samadhi.

Std 02, Technology Workshop

Std. 02 learnt to programme simple animations using Scratch. To extend their understanding, Mr. and Mrs. Cadambe conducted a workshop on 20th August, 2014. The workshop began with an overview of what programs and algorithms are. A simple symbol language using arrows was then introduced. Using this language, students enjoyed creating given patterns and interpreting each other’s patterns!

Std. 05 – Visit to the J. W. Marriott

In an attempt to enhance the experience of cooking, this time in a commercial setting, students of Std. 05 went on a field trip to the kitchens of J.W. Marriott. Here they met Chef Jolly and Chef Koshy who shared their knowledge of chocolates with them and at the same time introduced them to the safety and hygiene measures followed in a commercial kitchen. Students also enjoyed making their own chocolates and putting into practice the knowledge imparted by the chefs at J. W. Marriott.

Independence Day

Independence Day is a day of national pride for all Indians. Just the sight of all our students in traditional clothes brings home the diversity of our country. On the 15th August, 2014, after the flag hoisting, we in the Elementary Section had our own celebration in the Dinosaur Courtyard. Students of each class sang songs, played the tabla and danced for an admiring audience of their peers and teachers. After snack and laddoos, there were games and quizzes based on India, the freedom struggle and national icons. The students had a uniquely enjoyable day and they went home with the tricolour in their minds and the national anthem ringing in their ears.

Bugs, Bugs, Bugs!

Students in Std. 04 learnt about insects and bugs through an integrated unit. In Science, they learnt about life-cycles, food habits and physiology of a number of bugs. In Reading, they read a number of stories, poems and non-fiction texts pertaining to bugs, including the ever-popular Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. As part of the Language Arts programme, the students read a number of non-chronological reports on insects and learned to write one of their own on an insect of their choice. Students also researched insect recipes from all over the world (though none of them tried any for themselves)! The children also engaged in a number of art activities, where they made bees, spiders, ants, dragonflies and even their own web-like dream catchers. The unit culminated with a visit to the Insectarium at Hebbal, where students observed insects first-hand and gained knowledge from the entomologists present there.

Std. 01, Weaving

Std. 01 students explored the intricacies of weaving. They used ribbons, laces and fabric of various textures, in primary colours, to weave through chicken mesh and create a ‘sculpture’.

Std. 02, Dragon Tails

Std. 02 learned about the need for clear instructions in expressing ideas precisely. Students made a Chinese dragon as they followed instructions and culminated their learning by playing a game. ‘Catch the dragon’s tail’ instructed students to make teams where the last person had a tail. The idea was for each team to chase each other and catch the dragon’s tail!