Shilp Khel At Chirag School

About the Project: Shilp Khel


Art & Play Activities at Chirag School, Simayal, Nainital, Uttarakhand, India

June – July 2017

Class: 4th & 5th / Total Kids: 33 (Age: 9-10)

Activity 1: Nature Art.

Collect Natural Materials and Create Art.

Time Duration: 2 Weeks / 10 Working Days (1hour each day)

Group Dynamics: 4-5 Kids / Group


It began with a conversation:

What would happen if the Sun would go away on holidays for 4-5 days? I asked from kids.

Kids: It would be dark all around and we would not be able to play or come to school.


Me: I hope you guys can definitely find some way out to get some light, just think about it.

Kids: we will bring a flashlight.


Me: What if flashlight was not invented?

Kids: We have candles & oil lamps in our homes.


Me: What if nobody has designed any candle or lamp?

Kids: We can bring a fire torch.


Me: What if nobody has designed fire torch?

Kids: We will make fire with stones.


Me: Really? Who told you that fire ignites from stones?

Kids: Our Didi (teacher) told us, we read about it, we have seen images.


Me: Okay it means we can also create something from stone, If not fire then art, Can we?

Kids: Yessssss!


Me: Okay then leave your papers and colors, go out and find some natural materials to create something interesting. May be you can collect some leaves, twigs, pine cones, pine needles, seeds, stones or mud to create some patterns, shapes, forms or structures in natural landscapes.

Would you like to go for it?

Kids: Yesssss!


‘Hands On’ Activity started in groups…

(Followed by Observations)



  1. Kids were happy, energetic and full of vigour while observing, discovering and collecting natural materials that they had never noticed before. A beautiful pattern on leaves, flowers that bloom every summer, pine cones which were lying unnoticed for months, interesting forms of stones etc.

2. Working in teams they were learning how to carry stones from one point to another, how to tie things with pine needles, how to hold and fix stones and sticks in mud, how to compose rhythmic patterns and make stable structure forms.

3. Their natural visual perception or aesthetic sense could also be seen in their selection & composition of leaves, twigs and stones with beautiful forms, colours, textures & patterns on them.


4. It is also observed that all kids were not interested in the creative process, few were just observing things around & wanted to do something else, few of them were changing their work & their groups throughout & few of them were just lost.

We, as facilitators (with love & trust) need to learn to open up their deeper layers through more & more qualitative reflections to help them understand their own behaviour & potential. 

Activity 2: Life at Padam (Class IV) & Tillonj (Class V).

Live, Learn & Work in Collaborations.

Kids are allowed to select their Interest areas & create innovative projects in collaboration with others.


Who am I

Some Options for Open Work Processes & Collaborations:

  1. Nature artist can collaborate with the craftsman.
  • Create installations using natural material or recycle products.
  • Painting on various surfaces or object compositions.
  • Design a set/stage for performance/performing art.

2. Photographer/Film makers can document work process of other artists working on field.

  • Take interviews, shoot a story or performance & make a short film.
  • Photo Series – Conceptual photo essay.

3. Cognitive + Physical + Sensory + Math Games Artist can collaborate & create new games.

  • Games that requires – Thinking, imagination, senses, large & fine motor skills.
  • Design different rules, processes & levels of games.

4. Poets can imagine & write new poems or songs & collaborate with musicians.

  • Musicians can design new musical instruments and create new sound compositions.
  • Theatre Artist can create new characters and write an imaginative play.
  • Writers + Musicians + Dancers + Theatre Artist can collaborate and prepare a play.

and so on…


Formative Assessment through Reflection: Qualitative Record

Self Questioning: Before Activity

Why we chose what we chose?

What is our Purpose, Plan & Goal?

What Steps shall we follow?

What are our requirements?

Self Questioning: During Activity

What problems & challenges are we facing?

How would we find a solution?

How long would it take to complete our task?

Self Questioning: After Activity

What knowledge & skills have we gained & shared?

What qualities we have & What Improvements do we need?

Our overall experience of working in this activity…

Our next plan…