Group Activities form part of the primary five teaching techniques employed in the Balvikas classes. The term ‘Group Activity’ can be used to refer to an activity performed either at the thought level or emotional or action level by a group of persons, as a team.
In the words of the Greek philosopher Plato, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” In Balvikas classes as long as the Guru is teaching the class, each child attends as an individual, unaware of the presence of others but as soon as group activities are introduced the children show a different trend of behaviour. They are excited to work as a Group.
Uniqueness of Group Activity as a Teaching Technique and its Benefits:
- Group Activity provides a free atmosphere. It provides ample scope for children to express their thoughts, ideas and opinions freely to others without intimidation.
- They learn to accept and respect varying views and to learn and unlearn.
- They learn to become sensitive to the needs of others even before others express. They also learn to resolve conflicts if any, in a peaceful manner.
- Group activities help to develop team spirit in children that leads to a feeling of oneness in them.
- Children get the opportunity to discover their strength and weaknesses.
- Group activities allow and encourage the participation of all students. Even the ones who are shy get motivated to participate in a group.
- Allows for interplay and interaction so that learning proceeds from all directions.
- Children are exposed to the values of sharing, helping, cooperation and to healthy competition.
- Increases confidence in children.
- Group-learning motivates the children to incorporate the abstract values learnt through the activity, into their day-to-day life. This will help them to blossom into strong and humane individuals.
- Group activities can be organized both inside and outside the class.
- Creates opportunities to sensitize children on environmental awareness. Example: The sharing of stationeries will instill the sense to avoid wastage.
- To the Gurus, it acts as a means of knowing the level of moral development and moral judgment in the children of their class.
Pointers for Gurus while conducting the Group activities:
- Pre planning in terms of the Value to be inculcated and the Selection of a suitable activity.
- Guru to arrange for all the materials required for the activity.
- Guru to be an observer and facilitator – no criticism or comment by the Guru during the activity. Children can be guided if required.
- Gurus to ensure that all children in the group participate. Gentle motivation can be given to the children who are hesitant to participate.
- Through further discussions, the Gurus can gradually make children accept the value that needs to be inculcated in them.
- Analysis at the end of the activity to know its impact – Did the activity help in achieving the required learning goal?
The following are some of the group activities for Group I Balvikas classes:
- Role plays
- Attitude tests
- Art & Craft