Resource Pack for early reading based on OELP’s Varna Samooha Approach
The materials in the pack support OELP’s Varna Samooha approach for beginning reading and writing in Hindi. The Hindi alphabet has been regrouped into six groups called varna samoohas, with each samooha havingca limited akashara sets, which includes aa few vowels, consonants and syllables This regrouping of the alphabet into select akshara sets has been done over one year with the involvement of the regular school teachers inside classrooms.
A brief overview: The child is taught the sounds and symbols of a few written characters ( aksharas) at a time. She then learns to combine them to make her own words, which can be in their own home languages. Pre-determined word lists are not used. Instead each child is required to actively combine aksahras to construct their own words. Next the child is encouraged to visualise the meanings of the newly constructed words through drawing. This process is considered important. Words are then combined to form sentences. The words available within a varna samooha have also been used to make small poems.
Children are easily able to read these poems which are put up as posters in the class. Without having to rote learn the entire alphabet, the mystery that script conceals slowly starts to reveal itself and the joy of learning is established. Once the children have acquired the sound –symbol correspondence for 3-4 Varna Samoohas they become fairly proficient at sounding out unfamiliar words and acquiring the knowledge of unfamiliar symbols and their sounds through reading storybooks and texts.
If the children are introduced to the varna mala (alphabet at this stage, they are able to relate to it with understanding. However, in our experience this is most often not required.
1. The Varna Samooha Resource Pack consists of the following:
- 1. A teacher’s guide book to explain the method
- 2. 6 bags with colour coded material for each of the six varna samoohas.
- 3. Each bag contains:
- a) an akshara chart on cloth specific to each varna samooha
- b) a set of 6×6 inch akshara flash cards specific to each varna samooha
- c) a set of three poem posters related to the varna samooha
- d) a teacher guide book
- 4. CDs explaining the methods and giving suggestions for activities
- 5. A book of suggested activity book
- 6. A book of evaluation formats
2. Worksheets for skill practice or Dakshataaon ke liye worksheets
Based on research studies and available literature OELP has identified some specific competencies which are important for building strong foundations for reading and writing with understanding. OELP has developed five or six skill practice worksheets for each competency, so as to strengthen it. These are given to the children from time to time based on their individual needs. Details are available in the section Approaches and Methods
The competencies that have been included in the worksheets are as follows:
- 1) Recognition of spoken sounds (phonemic awareness)
- 2) Sound symbol correlation (phonics)
- 3) Combining sounds and symbols to construct meaningful words
- 4) Word recognition
- 5) Building spoken and written vocabulary
- 6) Reading and writing / drawing with understanding (comprehension)
- 7) Responding to questions on a text through written answers
- 8) Reading and writing different forms of texts with understanding and thinking
3. Story cards
Need to omit “laminated story cards in A4 size” – OELP has developed a set of 10 laminated story cards in A4 size to supplement our existing material. They comprise of a short story of one or two paragraphs in a big font size with colourful illustrations.
4. Laminated poem posters
OELP has developed a set of 20 poem posters in Hindi, in A3 size with hard lamination. These have been developed especially for the community centers where often teaching learning happens in open spaces and rough conditions
5. Activity booklets
As a part of implementation of the OELP methodologies a range of akshara; word and sentence activities and games have been developed by the BSK workers. We are in the process of compiling these in a book form. This work is under process.