CommUnify ! With Class VIII of Welham Girls’ School
Who am I and what determines my identity? How much do I know myself? How much do I consciously think about myself? Is it possible that I am unconscious about many facades of my identity? Am I sometimes just pretending to be who I am? Do objects, people and experiences shape me? Does my community shape me? Are my beliefs and values shaped by the many communities I belong to? Am I constantly shaping and reshaping myself through my interactions with others in the community?The CommUnify Programme for Class VIII at Welham Girls brought students to reflect on the constructs of the self, the other, and the community.
The programme kickstarted with an interesting game that asked the students to imagine a crisis scenario in their school.A lively debate ensued to reflect how deeply we value each individual in the school and how we all collectively make up the school community.A quick interactive discussion made them think about identity and what influences identity. They made an identity chart and applied it to themselves.
A poetry guide helped students express the idea of the self in a creative form. Students were then made to think about the ‘other’ in relation to the self with a small game. They interacted with their peers to understand aspects of their classmate’s personality and understand the things that were the same and different in theirs and their classmate’s identity.
The students were made to think how their identities are shaped not only by their immediate peer mates, but also their families, cultures and the many communities they belong to. A quick passing the parcel game made them reflect about the several communities they are a part of and can identify with. They came up with a lively discussion on how they are contributing to the community as a part of it.
A visit to the Nanaksar Gurudwara helped students understand how a community functions. They were made to carefully observe the many people within the Gurudwara community and the worshipers visiting it. They gathered data and insights through interviews and observation to understand beliefs, behaviours and values attached to community mindedness. What was most interesting and exciting for the students was an opportunity to do ‘Seva’ at the Gurudwara. The Mahant Ji at the Gurudwara guided them to take part in chores like cleaning up the Gurudwara space, washing utensils, making tea etc. Although it was a cold rainy day, students picked up brooms and thoroughly enjoyed any task given to them.
Directing their attention to ideas of community mindedness, students were made to think about their school as a community and the problems each of them faces in their own school.Students worked in groups to solve a challenge they face in the school community and how they can collectively help each other and mitigate these problems faced by them and their peers.
Students were introduced to the idea of design thinking to come up with creative solution to each of these problems faced by them. It took them couple of hours of brainstorming and thinking to come up with very innovative solutions to these problems which they then projected in the form of posters, comic strips, invitation letters, maps and other creative ideas. These were then put up on display in their school campus.
With their creativity and spirit of collaboration, Welhamites proved that they are problem solvers! Their creative ideas were met with much agreement and appreciation.