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A return to village life

Article | Published 26 April, 2002 | By: Helen Martin

CHEMBAKOLLI: Life and Change in an Indian Village. Action Aid. £17.25.

The village of Chembakolli is well-known to countless junior teachers and children. After 10 years of use, the original pack of photographs and activities about this Southern Indian village (and distant locality study in the QCA schemes of work) needed an update.

The second Action Aid Chembakolli pack provides a format for discussing life and change within the community in the intervening decade. The progress of the Adivasi (tribal) community focuses on change of land rights, community development and children's roles within the village.

The photographs are different from the first pack and will provide a welcome opportunity for class discussion.

Background information and lessons are directed through activity and briefing cards, giving an excellent, easy-to-use format for the non-specialist primary geography teacher.

The village is brought to life, for lower juniors especially, through cartoon representations of the changes that have occurred.

Children are encouraged to pronounce the Indian place names correctly and to learn through a series of quotes from members of the community. This pack brings distant enquiry straight into the classroom; the interactive website provides activities to extend those in the published pack.

The materials can be linked to citizenship; with a strong emphasis on rights and responsibilities within the village, especially children in the village school. This offers opportunities to link to the work of your own school council.

This is a welcome update and addition to the original materials, providing extensive discussion, hands-on activities and higher-order questions to cover many aspects of junior geography and citizenship.

Helen Martin is key stage 2 co-ordinator at Shelley primary school, Horsham

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