Don’t just teach, learn along with the students.
I never knew the woods and the wild can be so adventurous until I ventured into the wild along with my students of class VIII. My experience as a teacher exploring the nature’s wild beauty along with the students was immense.
I was never very adept at the nature’s incredible flora and fauna, it’s beauty, importance, present day scenario, vitality until I dealt with an English lesson “The Magical Animal” an excerpt from “An Aye-Aye and I” by Gerald Durrell.
As a part of our efforts in maintaining environment and in response to implementing the “green school” initiative, I encouraged my students to intrude into the wild and woods to find out some of nature’s creations which are on the verge of extinction and to create awareness; we surveyed the woods to discover the wild.
Show the way ahead:
I showed them a power point presentation, extensively created on the Aye-Aye, to help the students use it as a stepping stone as they were about to traverse on a new path.
This worked as a stimulus and my students really surprised me with their enthusiasm to explore the finest information. I provided them with a blueprint of the project to help them move ahead with their exploratory research work. During the project, I was always there as a facilitator, guiding, motivating and monitoring the students’ work.
What the students came out with, after a month’s extensive hard work, was highly commendable. Not only did the students probed and searched about various endangered species – their habitats, features, food etc, but also tried to analyses the various reasons behind their becoming endangered.
Share the same with one and all:
Going further, I carried out an activity to share the knowledge with one and all, an activity called, “Awareness Program” was planned. The students were divided into groups and each group was asked to deal with any one of the endangered animal and dive deep to get more details on selected endangered animal.
The road taken:
Activity featured disseminating information found on various endangered species like ‘Grey Whale’, ‘Philippine Monkey eating Eagle’, ‘Kakapo’, ‘Greater Bamboo Lemur’, ‘Orangutan’ and ‘Tarsier’ from classes III - VI. Information was conveyed through charts, posters and narration. The presentations and information on endangered species were well received and led to interactions including question and answers. Many students also gave suggestions on how they would work to save endangered species. Many teachers also actively participated in the program.
Apart from the awareness program, the students also had a debate in the class on the topic “Should animals be caged?” Most of the students spoke against this practice, but some also spoke in favour, justifying their views considering the dangers some of the wild animals face.
Our Toast to the Wild:
This whole process made us find out ways and means to protect these wild fauna and extenuate the causes that are playing a major role in endangering these wild lives so that we can save these nature’s wild treasures from being exterminated.
I believe that this approach of going beyond the classroom opened the doors to showcase the latent talent and creativity. This also helped in honing life skills, team work, decision making, problem solving, and public speaking which are the prime skills that is needed to have edge over others.