Literary Week 2024

Literary Week at The Indian School from 22nd to 26th April 2024 was an exciting and enriching annual event dedicated to celebrating literature. With a diverse range of activities and sessions planned through the week, there was something for everyone to enjoy and learn. The event not only promotes a love for literature but also fosters critical thinking and creativity among students, encouraging them to engage with literature in meaningful ways.

Several exciting literary events and innovative activities marked the special week. As in previous years, this year too, there was an impressive line-up of acclaimed writers who came and shared their personal experiences.

The inaugural session on 22nd April featured author, Ms Megha Gupta, who captivated the young audience comprising classes VII- VIII with a lively interaction on her two books After Midnight: A History of Independent India and Unearthed: An Environmental History of Independent India. The enthusiastic attendees answered questions on the environment, India’s freedom struggle, the partition of India, and the Bhopal gas tragedy, posed by the author, who was visibly impressed with the prompt replies! 

The next session was conducted by Mr Parnab Mukherjee, an alternative learning pedagogue, dramaturg and visual arts curator, who spoke about “Newspaper as a Worldview and Content Building Tool”, with the students of classes IX and X. The valuable insights provided by Mr Mukherjee helped students understand how a newspaper can be used as a valuable tool for increasing and enhancing one’s general awareness.

On 23rd April, Mr Shoumik Roy, author, director, founder of Shopno Ekhon, eminent theatre personality, conducted a workshop on the “Amalgamation of Poetry and Theatre” for the students of classes IX and X.  The students learnt about expressions that visualise the extensive scenery of a poem set against a certain backdrop. They also comprehended the importance of non-verbal expressions used in theatre to convey messages. 

In another session, on 23rd April, Mr Mukherjee shared techniques for public speaking and overcoming podium fear with the students of classes XI and XII. Talking about the difference between delivering a memorised speech and public speaking, he explained how one can speak confidently before a live audience. Making the content anecdotal, keeping constant eye contact with the audience, keeping the microphone at an angle of 45 degrees from the lower lip, were some practical techniques shared with the students.

24th April saw the attendance of Dr Dhananjay Singh, professor of English at JNU, and Ms Aishwarya Das and Ms Adira Das, Bharatanatyam artists. Dr Singh captivated the students of classes XI and XII by discussing various famous writers and how their works are an inspiration for budding writers. He underlined the importance of imagination and expression in literature, encouraging students to explore their creative potential. Drawing on his vast knowledge, Dr Singh provided valuable guidance on honing writing skills and finding one's unique voice. His engaging discourse left students inspired and eager to embark on their literary journeys with renewed zeal.

Ms Adira Das and Ms Aishwarya Das demonstrated the ‘Navrasas’ in Indian classical dance and explained the difference between ‘Nritta’, ‘Natya’, and ‘Nritya’. They also addressed deeper questions such as the significance of classical dance and its connection to one’s higher self. The artists regaled the audience with a performance of the classical piece ‘Narasimha Kauthuvam’, depicting the tale of Prahlad, Hirankashyap and Lord Narsimha. The session attended by the students of classes VIII and IX received an enthusiastic response. Students gained an understanding of the importance of classical Indian dance forms, and the performances of the artists mesmerised and inspired everyone.

On 25th April, Dr Shubha Dwivedi, poet and assistant professor of English at ARSD College, conducted an inspiring poetry writing workshop with the students of classes VIII, IX and X. Talking about the different kinds of poetry, she encouraged the students to write poems on any topic of their choice. She shared prompts with the lively audience to help them construct verse on themes such as things that disturb you, fascinate you, frighten you, and move you and those that bring a smile on your face.

The next session with Mr Mahendra Ved, a veteran political journalist enriched the students of classes IX- XII with ideas about the correlation between news and serious journalism. The session started with Mr Ved sharing his 50 year long experience of journalism. The second phase began with an interactive session where the students asked questions pertaining to modern day affairs and the role of the media. The session concluded with Mr Ved presenting an autographed  copy of his book to the School library. 

On 26th April, Dr Jaishree Sethi’s storytelling session was an absolute delight for both the students and teachers alike. With her captivating narrative, Dr Sethi, noted storyteller from Story Ghar, took the tiny tots of classes I-III on a journey to Haiti Island in the Caribbean, visibly enthralled by the clever antics of the protagonist. The interactive elements, including chants, riddles, discussions, and drawing activities, added depth and engagement to the session, ensuring that every student remained actively involved. The talented storyteller accorded the little ones a mesmerising experience.

Another popular storyteller, Ms Swati Sinha, conducted a session with the students of classes IV, V and VI on April 26th 2024. The storytelling session was highly successful, with the resource person demonstrating exceptional skill in captivating the students' attention. The students were thoroughly engrossed through the session, indicating a high level of engagement. The interjection activity implemented during the story narration was particularly effective, providing an interactive element that further enhanced the students' involvement and comprehension. Overall, the session was well-received and left a positive impression on both the students and supervising adults. It's evident that the storytelling session contributed significantly to the students' learning experience and enjoyment.

The last session with Ms Divya Arya marked the culmination of Literary Week 2024. The session was attended by chairperson of our School, Dr Ms Nayana Goradia. Ms Arya conducted an interactive session with the students of classes IX-XII, talking about her book Postbox Kashmir: Two Lives in Letters.

Ms Arya shared how the book takes on the challenging task of attempting to portray life in Kashmir from the perspective of the young minds growing up there and providing a context of understanding for the young generation viewing it from the outside. After the session, the book lovers rushed excitedly to get their copies of the books autographed by Ms Arya! Some enthusiastic and curious fans lingered to converse with the author. It was an unforgettable experience for the students, who left the hall inspired to dive deeper into the world of books.

Besides hosting eminent luminaries, the language teachers also engaged students in the classrooms across all levels in several literary tasks as per the following details:

ENGLISH - Through Literary Week, each class embraced a range of activities that fostered creativity, critical thinking, and a deeper appreciation for literature.

Class 1 commenced their week with a tribute to the letter 'T', combining storytelling with the creation of a 'word wall'. They navigated an obstacle course, brainstorming with 'T' words. Parents led engaging read-aloud sessions followed by craft. The week concluded with a captivating book fair and story enactments by the teachers. 

In class 2, students enjoyed storytelling and puppet shows centred around "The Perfect Picnic". They were challenged in Pictionary to identify pictures and write corresponding words, while fun riddles on the letter 'P' were entertaining. A book fair encouraged mindful reading, and teachers enacted stories followed by quizzes.

Class 3 embraced the letter 'M' with a tribute to "Moli, The Mischievous Monkey", alongside musical chairs with an 'M' twist and a story in a bag group activity. They also participated in a book swap and captivating read-aloud sessions by parents.

Students of class 4 unleashed their creativity through various activities like Weaving Tales, Poetry Bingo, Heads Up, Build a Block, and Creative Mind, encouraging them to think critically and imaginatively.

In class 5, students explored literary art and craft, created comic strips, and participated in word webs. Vocabulary Quest encouraged teamwork and exploration of word meanings, while Story Chain fostered collaborative storytelling and grammar skills.

Class 6 students crafted stories inspired by images in Think and Ink, interpreted poems through illustrations in Picture Poetry, and created profile cards of literary characters. They also participated in spelling challenges and Reading Buddy Sessions.

Class 7 students explored Blackout Poetry, modern media connections through podcast pairings, and reimagined epic characters in modern settings. They also engaged in fun activities involving tongue twisters. 

Class 8 students distilled emotions into haiku poetry, celebrated cultural identity through poster making, and enriched their literary appreciation through book reading sessions. They also sharpened their spelling skills in a Spell Bee activity.

Classes 9 and 10 showcased literary passions through a literary fair, artistic poetry, and a literary quiz. They brought idioms to life visually, honed communication skills in ‘Just a Minute’, and expressed themselves freely in open mic sessions.

Finally, classes 11 and 12 engaged in Literary Trivia, read and narrate sessions, tongue twisters, movie reviews, and open mic sessions, fostering critical analysis and self-expression.

HINDI- Class 3 delved into the world of stories through storytelling, and learnt new vocabulary. Drawing their favourite characters from the story filled them with excitement. Self- composed poems based on environment and moral values, and a handwriting competition engaged the students of class 4.

The students of class 5 narrated their favourite stories, and used newspapers to create short stories. 

Class 6 created a visual magazine using Hindi newspaper clippings and penned original poems. They shared tales of renowned authors.

In class 7, students crafted their stories and designed book covers, and narrated tales of celebrated writers to their peers.

Class 8 engaged in a story writing activity in the form of a comic strip. Classes 9 and 10 created book covers for their favourite books.

SANSKRIT- In class 6, students enjoyed Sanskrit short stories, delving into classics like the Vedas and Puranas. Class 7 focused on shlokas and Bharavi's Kiratarjuniyam. In class 8, Bharavi's Shishupalvadham was explored alongside Kalidas's Abhigyanshakuntalam.

FRENCH – Activities like Guess the French Words, reading texts and comprehensions and a quiz left the students inspired and enriched in the language, across various classes.

The week-long literature carnival culminated as a resounding success, leaving a lasting impression on all who participated. The Literary Week at The Indian School was not just an event but a celebration of literature in its truest sense. Through a blend of education and entertainment, students were immersed in a world of words, ideas, and imagination.

From captivating author sessions to enriching workshops and mesmerizing performances, every moment of the Literary Week was carefully curated to inspire and engage. The event served as a platform for students to explore diverse literary genres, interact with acclaimed writers and artists, and hone their own creative skills.

As the curtains closed on this literary extravaganza, it was evident that Literary Week had achieved its goal of fostering a deeper appreciation for literature while providing a fun and enriching experience for all involved. It was indeed a week well spent in 'edutainment', where learning and enjoyment seamlessly intertwined, leaving a lasting impact on the school community.