Naga Chokkanathan

Archive for June 2014

Just finished reading Mala Kumar’s amazing “Rupaiya Paisa” series books. (Released by Pratham Books, Rs 160 for 4 books).

When I started reading, I had my own reservations: Can financial matters be explained to kids? Either it will be too diluted or confusing.

But this well designed, well written book surprised me pleasantly. It covers all aspects of finance in detail that the kids need to know. It starts with ‘what is money’ & talks about income, expense, assets, investment (short, long term), ROI, insurance, laws, taxes, shares… Best part, all these are presented with simple examples, colorful illustrations, practical tips, activities. I LOVED reading it.

I knew most of the topics that were discussed in the books, but the simple manner in which those were explained, made it a great read.

My personal thanks to Author Mala Kumar & Illustrator Deepa Balsavar. Strongly recommend this to kids / adults of any age who want to understand money.

To buy this book in English / Various other languages: http://store.prathambooks.org/ecommerce/control/productSummary?product_id=Finance4

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N. Chokkan …

29 06 2014

Met someone who is using kids’ books to learn Tamil. She knows the alphabets, uses them to learn reading fluently. It is the fun way to learn a language: colorful pictures, lovely stories…

She had few specific comments / possible improvements which may apply to most kids’ books in Tamil or other regional languages. Wanted to document them here.

First, Sentences and words have to be short (at least in level 1 and 2). Typically it takes a minute for them to read a 5 word sentence. If it is a long sentence with many words, by the time the statement is over, she forgets the beginning.

To help in learning, sentences are to be short, so that they can see it as a whole, understand and then move on.

As the levels go up, words / sentences can get complex. At every level, give the personal satisfaction to reader that “I read it myself.”

If the story has to be tweaked to make this, or the story itself is too small / just an incident, it is okay. Story or twists don’t matter, It is “Reading” that matters to them.

So, there has to be difference between “story books” and simply “reading books”. It can be mentioned in the book wrapper itself.

On “Reading” books, choose another language (say English) and give meanings of difficult words in each page / as an index.

This helps them review what they read / learnt in that book. On every “Reading” book, give full alphabet chart with pronunciation for recap.

In general, I guess we need to write many “reading” books for kids / adult learners. From “Apple, Ball”, they should get to “Apple is round. Ball is blue” stage. That satisfaction will make them learn further.

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N. Chokkan …
28 06 2014


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The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Organization He works for / belongs to.

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