Children when given room to ponder out loud, actively listen to one another, raise questions and together, they discover more.
There is a sense of excitement as every one logs in on time. Children at the Young Writers' Club meet once a week to talk about some interesting subject and later spend some time writing. Last week, it was fire escape staircases. In case you are thinking what a dull topic, I urge you, dear reader, to take a chance and dive into our classroom conversations on this subject. To kickstart the discussion, the facilitator gave them a written brief about Anna Connelly who first came up with idea and even won a patent for the same. The introductory discussion even touched upon why the need arose and why we don't see these across the world.
The written brief had grammatical errors on purpose. The group got together to fix the errors before assimilating the information provided. Then they were ready to talk.
"This is a common sight in New York City. But I haven't seen much of these where I live in."
"I have seen something similar to this on my trip to Egypt a few years ago."
"I have seen something like this in construction sites here in Finland."
"In construction sites? Are you sure you aren't referring to scaffolding structures in construction sites? These are fire escape staircases."
"Let's look for pictures of scaffolding structures."
"What is scaffolding?"
"Let's look for a picture, you would understand better then."
"I have never seen staircases as a part of scaffolding structures."
The discussion at the Young Writers' Club Jr. program went on to how less practical these fire escape staircases tend to be. They spotted gaps that could make it dangerous to run down these at a time of fire. They then talked about alternate ways to help people out of buildings on fire.
"Why not mechanisms to lift people out of their windows and bring them down safely without having to run down these dangerous looking staircases."
"How about having a slide that is ready to be used just like what the aircrafts have?"
"Those are super expensive and can be used only once."
"Perhaps there is way to make that idea happen in a more cost effective manner?"
As much as the group would have loved to brainstorm more solutions, time had run out and the discussion had to come to an end. It was hard to notice how the group had started with correcting grammatical errors to understand the origin of the concept of fire escape staircases. From that point onwards, they went on to make connections with what they had seen in real life, discovered a couple of new words in the process and then went to becoming imaginative thinkers formulating efficient solutions for faster fire rescue missions! Would any of these imaginative thinkers put their thoughts and ideas into action when they grow up? Only time can tell. For now the seed for thought has been sown.
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Both weekday and weekend batches are available at the Young Readers' Club for the 8-12 age group.
NEW! Writing programs for the 8-12 age group- Young Writers' Club Jr.
The Young Writers' Club program for the 13-15 age group offers a weekly platform to read and discuss curated articles from the news, observe writing approaches and practise one's writing skills.
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