Having already studied African wild animals some weeks ago, students from the Mukamusaba Conservation Education Club in Livingstone were given a refresher class recently to see how much they had been able to remember about the topic. They were asked key questions, such as:
- Why are animals different?
- How do adaptations help animals to survive?
- How does animal behaviour help an animal to survive?
- How do food chains and webs work?
- What roles do animals play in the ecosystem?
The class was divided into three groups and asked to discuss these questions. Using lions and elephants as examples, they looked at how different species are able to adapt to different environments; elephants flapping their ears to cool down, and lions using their colouring as effective camouflage in the African bush. Additional to what they had already learned, the students were then introduced to the differences between vertebrates and invertebrates and taught that these two categories can be further divided into groups of mammals, birds, insects, amphibians, arachnids and reptiles. An exercise to classify a list of animals into their correct groups was very successful, showing that the students are increasingly able to put what they are learning into a practical context. Three Lion Encounter volunteers led the session, including Jeremy a return volunteer, who was amazed by how much the children had learned and grown in confidence since his previous visit.
Meanwhile, at the Maunga Kids Club, the topic was road safety. With one of the World’s highest road traffic mortality rates, learning how to stay safe is more than just an academic exercise for these African youngsters. Understanding the meaning of road signs is vital, so the students learned what to look out for when trying to cross the road. Using the recognised safety rules of finding a safe place to cross and stopping to look both ways before stepping out, they then took turns to demonstrate how to cross safely to the rest of the class.
Word puzzles have proved to be an effective learning resource for Reading Club students from Twabuka Primary School. Puzzles and word searches were prepared according to the student’s reading levels. While the novelty of trying something new encouraged most of the children to respond with enthusiasm, some struggled at first with understanding what they were being asked to do. This gave community volunteers the opportunity to provide individual tuition to help support these learners, so that they too could take an active role in the lesson.
The library project at Twabuka is continuing to go well, with the students eager to change their reading books regularly. To ensure that they are reading actively, the children are required to write a book review in their reading journal before receiving a new one. The feedback from both students and class teachers is very positive; the children enjoy reading and are demonstrating improvements in their reading ability and comprehension.
If you would like to help support children from the schools around our project sites, you can find out how to sponsor a school here. Or you may wish to join us in Africa as an intern, or as part of our volunteer program.