Our wetlands are full of wonders, as forty children discovered at the Princess Vlei Forum Wetland Wonders programme in March. Children and teachers came from Lotus River Primary, St Stephens Rd Primary and Levana Primary,
The programme aimed to give local learners a chance to explore Princess Vlei, and observe some of the amazing plants and creatures living there. Learners were encouraged to see how the creatures live together, and to draw deductions about their dietary and habitat needs.
A number of wonderful creatures were spotted by the learners, including many land crabs, a Purple Gallinule, Masked weavers, bright red dragon flies, locusts, a dune mole rat and, best of all, a beautiful little leopard toad.
A week later, the children came together again to create portraits and totem poles representing the life in the wetlands. Children were encouraged to draw a food web showing two or three creatures in their wetland habitats. Their creativity and powers of observation were clearly displayed. Art is a a very effective way of encouraging children to pay attention to nature, and to develop a relationship with and understanding of nature. By working with colours, composition, and patterns, learners internalize lessons about how nature lives in balance as a community.
These portraits will be converted into mini totem poles for the learners to carry on the Princess Vlei Forum’s annual Flight of Dreams parade on September 14. They will also be on display in the Grassy Park Library later this year.
Thanks to the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, managed by Nedbank Private Wealth, for sponsoring our environmental education work with local primary schools.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.