Princess Vlei is a good and safe place for toads to live.
This was the finding of young toad explorers from Buck Road Primary, Harmony Primary and Levana Primary, who came to Princess Vlei on a field trip to investigate what toads need to live well, and to breed. The explorers looked out for insects that the toads might eat, and for plants that would attract insects and give the toads somewhere to hide. They explored the water creatures, including small fish, tadpoles and water beetles. They used nets to catch them and study them briefly before returning them to the water. They made note of threats to the toads, such as predatory birds, plastic pollution, and cars to migrating toads.
A highlight of the field trip was the opportunity to explore Princess Vlei by water, thanks to Gravity Adventures who gave the learners a safe but exciting experience of canoeing.
A week later, the toad explorers met again at Harmony School Hall. They created their own toads and tadpoles out of clay, and painted habitats for them on paper plates, making sure to include everything the toads and tadpoles need such as water, insects, reeds, and other plants.
'I painted the sky, the mountains, the reeds that’s in the water, birds, plants and insects for it to eat,’ Caitlin Castle of Buck Road Primary told us. Christopher Jackson, also form Buck Rd, introduced us to his toad called Michael Blackstone; Patience Majuni, from Harmony Primary, created a tadpole called Young Piggy.
Encouraging the learners to explore the vlei from the perspective of a toad, and to later sculpt and create a story around their toads, nurtures their curiosity and creativity. It enables them to look at the world with more than human eyes, and to understand that all living creatures need a safe place to live with food and shelter.
Thanks to Gravity Adventures, the teachers and Harmony Primary School for hosting us, and Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust managed by Nedbank Private Wealth for supporting our educational work.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.