School Map | Flora | Fauna | Experiments | Study Plans | Placenames | Games
This project takes a look at the flora and fauna in the school grounds, and monitors the seasonal changes which take place. Projects of this kind are suitable for a group of children from nine years of age and over. The school environment, which is the child's own doorstep, is used as an extended classroom, and aided by technological knowledge resources, the child and teacher explore and extend their knowledge. If the blueprint for an education system were being drawn up at the present time, it would state that a system be put in place which would create bridges for the child between the home and the wider community. Modern research suggests that educational institutions should provide experiential contexts for children to grow and develop educationally, and this project has that theme, whereby the children can see, hear, smell, touch and taste the environment, and afterwards express themselves in art, sculpture, song, poetry and written accounts. Experiments associated with the project will stimulate the children, and teach them that patience goes hand in hand with nature, and that recording can be fun. Because of the nature of the project, it is inevitable that the study will extend to things such as sand, water, sound etc., but children will have no difficulty with the experiments associated with this.
to get the pupils to take a look at their local environment with a view to understanding its flora and fauna;
to facilitate cooperative and collaborative learning among pupils, in a cross curricular, constructivist context;
to provide engaging and challenging activities in a variety of subject areas;
to aid development of critical thinking, research skills and real-world application of knowledge;
to enable the children appreciate and enjoy their environment;
to bring the environment alive in the classroom and in the childrens' lives;
to develop an appreciation of the complex but natural interaction between all forms of life and the environment
1. The teacher introduces the words Flora and Fauna, and a discussion on what the terms mean follows. Pupils make two columns on a copy-book and write the headings FLORA and FAUNA on top of the columns respectively. Examples of flora and fauna from the child's experience are written in the appropriate column.
2. Teacher invites the pupils to take part in the project which will involve identifying and recording the flora and fauna around the school, and recording the changes which take place over a season.
3. Next step is to take a tour of the school site, and record any examples of flora and fauna pupils readily recognise, including its distribution. Pupils should be able to decide what the dominant plant on the site is, whether some appear all year round or for short periods, and that colour is varied.
4. With the aid of a rough site plan, pupils mark in numbers to show location of plants and any fauna they've come across.
5. Some plants many be chosen for art-work or pressing, rubbings or printing. Play oral plant identification games -- I spy, is a good game to get the children describe a plant.
6. The teacher ensures that children keep records of field-trips, and these notes will be used to recap at beginning of subsequent lesson.
7. By now the childrens' knowledge of the site is known to the teacher, and this can be extended by choosing a few new items each week until the main features are covered. Children should then be ready to explore public parks, to browse in garden centres and to evaluate TV gardening programmes.