Outreach team member Khyati Datt writes about our recent workshops with Teach For India in Bangalore and Delhi.  

StoryWeaver has collaborated with many organisations in order to take stories to more and more children. One such organisation that works with children directly is Teach For India and we conducted a StoryWeaver workshop with the Teach for India fellows in Delhi and Bangalore. We invited fellows from the organisation to spend a few hours with us and brainstorm around ways that stories could be integrated with everyday teaching in the classrooms.

With the fellows coming straight from school, the workshops were shorter than our usual workshops but the fellows were actively engaging with us despite the long tiring day that they’d just had.

The session in Delhi began with a quick round of introductions where the fellows told us their role in the organisation. It was great to see that the participants worked in different verticals of the organisation - there were Program Managers, First year fellows, Content Advisors and TFI alums in the audience. After a brief introduction of Pratham Books and StoryWeaver, we dived into the demo of StoryWeaver and the functions available on the platform.

We discussed with them the various ways that different organisations were using the content on the platform to give the participants ideas on how to combine learning with fun! We also saw videos of teachers and organisations using StoryWeaver with their students and shared our thoughts on whether stories could help make classes more joyful.  The fellows then went on to their first task of the session - looking for interesting stories and plugging them in in a lesson plan. While some fellows decided to use the story for Reading Comprehension, others chose to use a STEM book to introduce the children to the concept.

After hearing the thoughts of the participants on what they’d seen so far, we asked them to do the most interesting task of the workshop - creating stories! The fellows saw this as an opportunity to create the kind of stories that they thought would work in their classrooms and added a fun element to their lessons. We received some great stories from the audience, with flying animals and dream schools!

We ended the session with a question - actionable ways through which stories could be used with children. While some fellows were excited to share their takeaways from the session with other fellows, the alums wanted to understand how stories could be used in their context.

We conducted the same workshop with the Teach For India Bangalore fellows. All the participants were in their first year of fellowship and were happy to share their experience in the classrooms  and discuss with us ideas on how they could use stories to make children learn in a joyful manner!

Both the workshops gave us an opportunity to interact with people who were working with children directly and we thank Teach For India Delhi and Teach For India Bangalore for arranging the same.

If you are interested in hosting a similar workshop for your organisation, drop us an email on [email protected]

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Mota Raja visits the classroom!

Posted by Remya Padmadas on December 05, 2017

 Zarif Hussain, is a first year student at the Symbiosis Law School, Noida. As part of his course he is  doing an internship with Servants of the People’s Society that runs Balwadis for very young children from underserved communities across Delhi-NCR. Read on to find out how Zarif used StoryWeaver in his sessions with the children.

I was asked me to take interactive sessions with the children at Trilokpuri Balwadi and I currently conduct one-hour sessions everyday with the little kids on different topics like GK, math and health education. The children love to listen to the stories and they ask me bring a new story almost every day for them.

At first finding stories for them was a difficult so I asked my mom to help me out. She recommended Pratham Books’ Storyweaver platform where she translates stories to Surjapuri for children and uses them extensively in education centers in Kishanganj, Bihar.

I checked the StoryWeaver platform and found that it was simple and beautifully done with stories across reading levels in multiple languages. I downloaded stories from StoryWeaver and the first story I narrated was “Fat King, Thin Dog” in Hindi. During the session I realised that StoryWeaver was just what I needed. The children loved the story and did a drawing of the Mota Raja. One of the children Faizan recited the story back to the class. In fact, when I did a recap of the story after few days they all remembered the story so well.

The next story we did was “Bunty aur Babli” which was about washing hands with soap with an emphasis on personal hygiene. The children learnt to wash their hands before eating food and after using toilet.

The most impressive thing I found about the stories on StoryWeaver was that they all had large, colorful pictures. The easy-to-use interface made it simple to download stories. I prepared activities for each story I narrated and that helped me retain the interest of the young children in class. Listening to the stories is the most enjoyable part of their day!

The stories on StoryWeaver are a great tool for teaching children. Thank you for making my sessions interactive and fun-filled with the children!

If you are using StoryWeaver in your classroom, library or after-school centre and would like to share your story on our blog write to [email protected]

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Our Outreach Executive Khyati Datt writes about how v-shesh is using books to help develop language skills amongst children with hearing impairments. 

At a workshop conducted for parents of children with hearing impairments, Kanchan and Tabassum, trained sign language interpreters,  posed the gathering question: 

“What do you see as the biggest obstacle in ensuring that  your child’s learning is not restricted to the classroom only?” 

Most parents spoke about the communication gap that existed between them and their child which often resulted in the child becoming withdrawn from the family. Kanchan and Tabassum gave them a simple solution for this:

“Read to your children.”

Kanchan and Tabassum have always enjoyed interacting with children. They work with v-shesh Learning Services, an award winning impact enterprise that assists persons with disabilities (PwD), with socio-economic inclusion. v-shesh works in the training and education space to assist PwD in accessing formal sector jobs.

The duo are closely involved in the implementation of a project which aims to assist children with hearing impairment develop English language competency. When they joined v-shesh in 2016,  the project had just started, but overtime, being in the field made them realize the needs of the children. 

“Most of our students were either pre-teens or teenagers. We found a lot of interest and enthusiasm amongst the students to learn the English language, but most teaching learning material and methodologies available were not age appropriate to teach basic concepts. This led to the need for continuous innovation and to build upon existing material to make it relevant for students and simultaneously address the core challenge of assisting them with the basics”, Kanchan shares.

Books and beyond

Kanchan and Tabassum have always believed that stories are an important tool in igniting interest in learning a language. They started looking for books that were simple, colorful and had captivating illustrations. While Kanchan decided to divide the children in groups and asked them to read to each other, Tabassum started giving out books as rewards to the children.

v-shesh is a big believer of the PVR (Preview, View, and Review) method of teaching. In this method, a book is introduced to children by giving them a general description of the topic. As a next step, they read the book with the students using some visual effects and end the discussion by asking the children to review the book and share their learnings with each other. Simple videos were also made to explain the concept to the teachers and parents as well.


Children reading in pairs in a v-shesh centre in Delhi

Tabassum shares how the books from StoryWeaver were, especially, loved by children with hearing disability; “The children would often read the books on their own and volunteer to talk about the story in the class. ”

Kanchan and Tabassum’s advice to the parents at the workshop ensured that learning did not stop once the children exited the classroom. The parents of  Khushi, one of the students at the center, were the first to read a book to their child. Kanchan and Tabassum noticed a remarkable change in Khushi’s confidence and were happy to see that despite not knowing sign language, Khushi’s parents were able to connect with their child through books. 

Kanchan feels that, “Books are the most effective and the most important means of igniting interest in language among the students . A beautifully illustrated book helps motivate children to read and learn a language like no other”.


Source:  v- shesh centre in Delhi

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