August has by far been my favourite month, and not to mention the busiest. This module has been the most difficult to make, and challenge always means more fun. The National Gallery of Portraits, in Chandigarh is tucked away under the Public Library in Sector 17. This basement-museum is a small, but well documented space which narrates the story of India’s independence chronologically.
We began Day 1, with an interesting and interactive video presentation, and slowly accumulated a lot of Questions students would seek answers to, on the next day. We saw artefacts, photographs and more that told us the story of our Independence.
At the Museum, we had the most fun time ever. Students pieced together the fragments of history, using songs of the freedom movement, soldier accounts, and tried understanding the fervour of “Inquilab Zindabad” through Bhagat Singh’s letters. My favourite part was, when I asked the students to choose their favourite hero, and write about them using all the information they could find. At least 75% students chose heroes such as Bhagat Singh, and Subhash Chandra Bose. Some others chose Rani Laxmibai and then there was a handful who chose Gandhi. I was pleasantly surprised, because usually children choose Gandhi – who’s more prominent, and theres always more information available.
Day 3 was as amazing as it could get – with poems, letters and creative work that the students came up with. But what really got me, were some of the first-person narratives and stories the children collected from their grandparents to make their own narrative museums. One of the schools titled it “Remember to always Remember..”, and I couldn’t have been more happier this August.
Know more about Creative Inquiry and my approach to learning through museums.
Video Credit: This video was shot after a workshop series at Sacred Heart School, Sector 26 Chandigarh. Loads of gratitude to the school students, and Ms. Jasmine (HOD, History) for their time.