Planning a programme or a project often turns out to be more exciting than the project itself. The excitement of drawing up plans, discussing alternatives and coming to a consensus offers scope for healthy argument, interaction, and even a dose of fun.

The second module under the ‘Project design' theme titled ‘Researchers at desk' helped students of Standard VII of Sri Vignesh Vidhyalaya lay the groundwork for a project of their choice. Students who had drafted a statement of purpose for their project in the first module learned to sort out sources and draft an overview for their tasks.

The projects undertaken were non-academic and simple to keep children hooked to the assignment and to help them grasp the intricacies of project design. While one group wanted to plan a leisure trip to Yercaud, another group decided to organise a thematic party.

Resource person Smitha Ananth guided the students in preparing source cards that listed their sources of reference in planning the project, be it books, websites or people.

The source cards were followed by a project overview that aimed at a general understanding of the project. In the newspaper activity, students understood how to capture the various angles and dimensions covered in a news story. Applying a similar method, they were able to come up with sub-topics for their pet projects.

The third activity was a brainstorming session intended to ensure all aspects of the project were covered and to zero down on the specifics of the task at hand.

In an age of ‘cut, copy, paste' attitude towards research, project design was all about getting a hands-on experience in preparing a project.