Hi, it’s Valerie. We continue our lessons by focusing on what most organisms need to survive. In general, most organisms need oxygen, water, food, and a protected environment. While preparing for this lesson at the office, we created images illustrating that you, me, birds, gorillas, flowers are all organisms. After gluing these images into their AoC notebooks, students listen to our story about how all living things are connected. It really goes like a story, you know. We explain that people are not the only organisms that need oxygen, water, food, and a protected environment to survive, but all living things need basic essentials to thrive on Earth. And when one part of the equation is disrupted, it may have a fatalistic impact on other part.
We encourage our students to practice English by reading new vocabulary words of the day. Innocent presents ‘a protected environment’ card in both English and Kinyarwanda for a volunteer to read and put on our grass mat serving as a word wall, which the kids all enjoy doing!
Students learn the four things that most organisms need to survive.
Next we teach the children that the critically endangered mountain gorilla and people are approximately 98% genetically similar and disease transmission between the two is probable. To help get the point across of why we need to stay healthy, another image is glued into the notebooks showing mountain gorillas in their natural habitat and another photo of a bunch of former AoC students at park headquarters after last year’s 3K Gorilla Fun Run. Lots of kids, so few gorillas! We need to take action!
A student studying the images he just glued into his notebook.
Our last image for discussion further illustrates the story, at least in part, how all living things are connected. We begin with photos of people, followed by domesticated animals, then wild animals, natural habitat such as forests, trees which produce the air we breathe, pictures of our briquettes as an alternative to cutting down trees for our cooking fuel needs, medicinal properties yet to be discovered, the simple fact of natural beauty, as well as tourism which creates jobs and brings in foreign revenue to help construct schools, and the process of learning and obtaining knowledge. How’s that for a quick tour of some of our connections with other living things?
The children are really following and concentrating. This tells me they are interested in what they are learning. They are discovering that people are not the only organisms that need food, oxygen, water, and a protected environment to survive, but also other living things, i.e. organisms.
More coming soon.