Published: 09th December 2020
These Bengaluru kids took their Science lessons, added some drama and turned it into a book
Dr Rajashree, Co-founder of YouAndMe theatre speaks about their new book called dramAcademics consisting of seven plays written by kids. The team trained these kids about writing screenplay
Have you read or watched plays which involved elements like rocks and minerals that we study about in Science? If your answer is no, then you'll love dramAcademics. This book, released on December 6, has been written by seven school kids for other kids to read. But how and what led these school kids to write plays is an interesting episode.
When schools shut down in the month of March due to the pandemic, a lot of activities including theatre performances went online. Similarly, Dr Rajashree and Sharath Parvathvani also started organising performances and various sessions online. One of those involved training kids to write the perfect screenplay. Rajashree explains, "Initially, we were not so serious about training children to write screenplays. We only had these sessions for college students and adults who were interested. Later, we realised that the same sessions could be used for the children and this would help them showcase their creativity. When it comes to screenplays, we taught them everything — from forming a story to working a plotline to creating goals and obstacles for the characters within the play and ways to resolve it."
What made these sessions unique was that children turned the Science chapters into plays. "This book called DramAcademics has seven plays written by the kids for the kids and one play written by Sharath. The plays are based on the human body, digestive and circulatory system, rocks and minerals, birds and the animal kingdom, trees and nesting habits of birds, insects and bugs and so much more," she explains.
Many years of work
If you think that the idea of turning it into a book took shape only in the past few months, then you'd be wrong. YouAndMe theatre, founded in 2017, has held several such performance at schools. Rajashree says, "We have associated with several schools across Bengaluru and started teaching theatre. What surprises the teachers was how children started remembering their lessons taught in class after we taught them ways to use theatre basics to remember it. We wrote plays that could be used to teach Math, Science and Social Science. For example, children themselves came up with a play related to the periodic table and elections. In a play called, 'Who is the leader of the periodic table', several elements of the periodic table were personified in such a way that they contested elections. In this process, the children learnt the qualities of each element as well as how elections are conducted in India. The same method was applied when children were writing plays and it was published in the form of a book."
Now that the children have learnt to write the plays, what next? She tells us, "The kids who were part of the screenplay writing sessions have already asked us if we can bring out another book or produce some short films. We are open to publishing several such small books if children write plays and send it to us!"