This Independence Day, give children enough reasons to love their country. Celebrate the most significant day in Indian history by interacting with students in the school library and ensuring that they have fun while learning more about our country’s dramatic past. Here are 5 great ideas to start with:
- Embellish your library with the Indian tri-colours.
Unleash the spirit of Indian Independence in your library by decorating it using primarily Indian flag colours: white, green and saffron (use ribbons, streamers, balloons, etc). Put up information about what each colour of the national flag represents and what the 24 spokes on the Ashoka Chakra mean. You can also print out pictures of our freedom fighters and pin them up in the library.
- Grow a Freedom Tree.
Using brown chart papers, cut and make the shape of a tree trunk, and stick it on the wall. Write the words ‘Freedom means…’ on it. Then, make leaves using a variety of coloured chart paper and stick it around the tree trunk. Hand a leaf to each child and ask them to complete the sentence ‘Freedom means…’ based on their own experiences. It could mean anything: “Freedom means… summer holidays” to “Freedom means…. choosing my own clothes.” At the end of this activity, you will have a colourful tree in your library with words that children associate with freedom.
- Write a letter to any of our great Indian patriots.
It is essential for children to know about India’s freedom fighters and their struggle for our nation’s independence. Give the children a brief introduction to great leaders such as Mahatma Gandhi, Subas Chandra Bose, etc, and ask them to write a letter to any one of them thanking them for their courageous efforts. This exercise will not only inspire children, but also help them appreciate forgotten heroes and heroines.
- Play ‘What if?’
Talk to children about a few National Symbols: national flower (Lotus), national fruit (Mango), national animal (Tiger), national tree (Indian Banyan) and national bird (Peacock). Make as many groups as the number of categories, and ask each group to select a new national symbol with good reasons to support them. Give each group a chance to discuss their choices and reasons.
- Display books that relate to freedom and Independence
Ask a group of children to find books that relate to freedom and independence in any way. This could be related to any country’s or individual’s freedom. Examples: ‘Picture Gandhi’ by Sandhya Rao (Tulika), ‘Mother is Mother’ by Shankar (Children’s Book Trust), ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ by Nelson Mandela; Abridged by Chris Van Wyk