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Journeying Through Poetry & Geometry - Highlights of Day 2 at Sunnyside Young Explorers Weekend Workshops

Welcome to a world where learning knows no bounds! Last weekend at the Sunnyside Young Explorers Weekend Workshops, we delved into the realms of poetry and geometry. As we embarked on this adventure together, we discovered the magic of words and the wonders of shapes.

Session 1 - Poetry Palette : Exploring the Art of Words

We recognised each other from our previous workshop but spotted a new face in the group. An icebreaker then became imperative to know each other in an interesting and amusing way. ‘I spy’ was the chosen activity. With a bunch of pictures to choose from and describe to the group for them to guess. It was hard when one of the kids started off with, I spy something that can be opened and closed and can go up and down. While all were racking their brains for the object, the little child inadvertently showed it in action and all chorused out the object.

With that we moved onto our next step of understanding what is a poem. On enquiring, the answer was that a poem is a long piece of writing with many rhyming words and description, in fact complex and uninteresting.  It was now time to investigate this truth. The children were surprised to learn that poems were a creative way to express our thoughts, ideas or feelings using imagery, literary devices, which could be short, even without rhyming words and also came in different shapes.  To verify the authenticity of the newfound truth, we read a few poems like The Oldman of Dumbree, The Concrete poem, The Platform Arriving, My Dad is Amazing and How can I. 

The children learnt that poems come in verses and stanzas filled with literary devices like figurative language, imagery, simile and metaphor. They learnt about the types of poems like free verse, haiku, limerick, shape poem and ode.  Then, we embarked on creating a short shape poem collaboratively. 

After brainstorming ideas, we concluded to write on The Sea which was a favourite among all. The poem was written in the shape of a boat which articulated their love and excitement on seeing the sea, the pleasure of wetting feet in the cool water, the dancing waves and the thrill of spotting and escaping from sharks in the water. This activity gave the children the confidence on attempting a poem independently. 

Next, they chose to write a shape poem on a star, tree, a house in rains, lotus, rose, cloud and a car.  The poems showed their ideas and experience of wonder at the growing of a tree from a seed, the delight at plucking its fruits, the beauty of lotus, the love of the rose, the brilliance of a star in the night sky and the fun and devilry of an over-pouring cloud. It was now time to share their poems with the peers, appreciate their effort and celebrate the triumph of expressing their emotions on paper. The giggles and enthusiastic energy reflected their joy from the work. After the satisfaction of learning and creating a poem, it was time to end the workshop with an energising snack.

Session 2 - Geometry Quest: Unraveling the World of Shapes

The journey continued with a plunge into the mesmerising world of three-dimensional solids during our Geometry Quest. The session kicked off with an intriguing activity: children reached into a mystery bag, describing objects by touch while others guessed their shapes. This gave me insight to their knowledge of solids and shapes.


We then read a book called Mummy Math- An adventure in Geometry by Cindy Neuchwander. The book was an immersive Egyptian mystery with loads of geometry discussions as well as lending itself to activities.  While Matt and Bibi in the book went on a clue hunt,  the kids went on their own clue hunt,  figuring out faces etc and solving the clues. 


They built geometric models and described them by counting out their faces, vertices which were ouches, and edges. Complicated vocabulary such as a tetrahedron became simpler as they continued spotting and using it.  They played a find your card game where they were given a solids card and had to find its name and properties card. They paired up to complete an activity on the properties of the solids on a semantics sheet which led to a load of animated discussions,  picking up the solids and exploring it's faces,  counting out it's edges, counting it wrong and recounting it all over again,  hilariously poking at the vertices and counting the ouches, checking what faces can be used as bases to each solid. 

The class ended with an activity on crafting their own colourful triangle based pyramids aka tetrahedron. We didn't realise the two hours fly by. The kids wanted the story to continue and were immersed in each activity.  It's only when parents came knocking did we transport back from ‘mummy land’ and had to pack up.  I had a good time and the kids did too.

With hearts full of joy and minds buzzing with newfound knowledge, we wrapped up another memorable workshop. The journey through poetry and geometry may have ended for now, but the spark of curiosity ignited within each young explorer continues to shine brightly. Until next time, let's keep exploring and learning together!

~ Authored by Naqeeb Sultana & Rafia Riaz


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