Yesterday was a meaningful day 1 at Khoj. Students are warming up to the Big idea: “How a historian works”. It is a hope that inferences and observations that they are beginning to make about sights, spots and sounds will feed into their understanding of the past and present of their city.
The medium of enactment of stories and events is a powerful one, especially because it enables the actor to assume a different persona and voice. Children, upon their return from Connaught Place last evening, students tried their hand at role playing. It was an exploration of movements, gestures, voice modulation and projection. The process will continue for all the evenings of Khoj and culminate in a narrative-enactment of stories of Historical Delhi.
On Day 2, Grade 6 students have embarked on a journey to explore the Mughal period. After a hearty breakfast, they started out the day with the Red Fort. The intent was to get them immersed in studying the details of the monument and to comparing that to the monument created during the British times.
For this purpose, children have been divided into groups to study four different structures within the fort – Sawan Bhado, Diwan-a-Khaas, Rang Mahal and Diwan-a-Aam. Each group focussed on the study on each of the structures – the location, purpose, material used – thus becoming experts. The booklets provided to the children are being used to make detailed records of their observations, inferences and factual information of the structures and historical evidences – paintings.
Students will head back to VYK for lunch at around noon. After lunch, children will get time to freshen up and relax. In the afternoon, students visit the National Museum. The three galleries they will be visiting are decorative arts, coins and miniature paintings. While they collect information on Mughal and British time periods, they will also learn to see how historians use museum artefacts to reconstruct history.
The children are enjoying themselves and are in high spirits.