As a part of our efforts to promote caring for the environment, we held an event to celebrate Earth Day in school on 22nd April. During this event, children learned more about environmental protection and reflected on how their actions can affect the environment that we live in.
Through discussions, children learnt from one another the various efforts one can put in to care for the environment, and why it is important to do so. They made posters and crafts to spread the message on caring for our earth after.
During our SSDB launch party on 28 April, we decided to continue the conversation on ways to care for our environment, become ‘Earth Heroes’, and advocate for greener practices that we can adopt in our daily lives.
The children came to school dressed in white and orange, donned their SSDB hats and watched the launch of the SSDB project organized by ECDA to understand the significance of the project that they will be participating in. A SSDB corner was set up in the school as well for them to access to books and information on how to become ‘Earth Heroes’.
To kickstart our SSDB journey, children were introduced to the 4 SSDB mascots (Start, Small, Dream, Big). These mascots will represent each of the 4 participating classes as they start their journey of self-discovery towards learning about topics such as Saving our Oceans, Recycling, Zero Waste, and Sustainable Gardening in the months to come.
The children in each class were divided into 2 small groups to create a hand puppet and a standee of their class mascot. These puppets and standees will be used in class for future SSDB activities, discussion and story time.
At the same time. children discussed and shared with their peers what the SSDB theme ‘Our Earth, Our Home’ means to them.
<u>Saving Our Oceans</u>
In the month of May, the topic ‘Saving Our Ocean’ aims for children to understand what pollution is and what it does to the ocean ecosystem and the animals that live there. We can help save the ocean through efforts like: reducing waste, shopping wisely, using fewer plastic products, treating our oceans with care when we visit the beach, clean up the beach, etc.
To raise awareness on the issues of pollution in the sea, children were introduced to books and news articles of situations that are happening to the ocean ecosystem across the globe.
After learning about the serious damage waste brings to the ocean floor, children created a 3D sculpture of the ocean floor being filled with trash. The shapes and texture of the sculpture were moulded/imprinted using loose parts and items fallen from nature such as sea shells, twigs, acorns and seeds. Even though the sculpture was beautifully made with tools that were plastic-free, adding plastic waste to the sculpture at the end really provoked many thoughts and conversations about man’s actions and how it affects marine wildlife like corals.
<u>Event: Ocean Jam Music Festival</u>
The Ocean Jam Music Festival aims to inculcate the concept of sustainability as children explore into the wonderful world the animals live in underwater. How can we protect the animals in the sea? In addition, they will learn to appreciate and enjoy elements of music through experiences such as storytelling, drama, crafts, singing and dancing.
Part 1 : Virtual Musical Story Performance
Where storytelling comes alive with drama, interactive singing, and dancing!
Children met a little scat-singing fish named Jazz, who is way too noisy and cannot seem to make new friends.
Part 2: Recycled Music Instrument Craft
Preparing instruments to use during the Music Jamboree performance. Bringing new life to items such as paper rolls and expired beans and using them to make a rainstick.
Part 3: The Music Jamboree
In this fun-filled day, children dressed up in ocean-themed costumes and engaged in musical activities conducted by the music specialists of Pat’s Schoolhouse.
They expressed their creativity in a jamming session using their DIY Instruments, dancing, singing and dramatization.
Applying their knowledge of the importance of saving the ocean, they dramatized a scene where sea animals are caught stuck and struggling in a sea full of trash. In the end, they participated in an activity where everyone cleaned up the sea together, separating the items based on different recycling categories.
To nurture the spirit of caring for our environment, June’s topic ‘Let’s Recycle’ aims for children to understand the important message about recycling and environmental awareness.
What happens to the trash after we are done with it? What are items that are recyclable and how should we ‘dispose’ these items?
Children were introduced to ‘Bloobin’ a local mascot that is commonly found in residential and commercial areas.
They learned that not all items can be recycled and that people in Singapore have been treating the blue recycling bins as trash bins, throwing all sorts of rubbish into them and causing more recyclables to be contaminated.
In the month of July, children explored the meaning behind a ‘Zero Waste’ nation. Zero waste is an approach to living in which we strive to minimize the waste we generate.
In collaboration with Singapore Zoo, children attended a virtual show that highlights the importance of reducing daily waste, and how it affects the environment and wildlife.
How much waste do we create in a day?
On day 1 of this challenge, our children were tasked to collect the trash they accumulated over a day into a jar. At the end of the day, they reflected on their actions and discuss how they can reduce the amount of waste.
On day 2, before anyone threw away something into the collection bin, children are encouraged to think back if the items can be reused, or discuss any alternatives to how they can reduce the accumulation of such waste in the future.
What are some ways to reuse the waste we collect? Can we turn them into art?
How can we transform them and give them a new purpose?
To end off the last month of our SSDB activities in August, children explored with the topic of ‘Sustainable Gardening’.
Oh, What Farm!
Collaborating with Singapore Discovery Centre (SDC), children visited the edible garden at SDC to learn more about the process of how farmers harvest food from farm to table.
They freely explored the edible plants in the garden, feeling the texture of different plants/parts of the plant with their hands, using their nose to identify familiar smells, and identifying/observing different shapes of different plants. Apart from discovering the different types of edible plants, children learned about a new way to grow plants using the hydroponics system and got the opportunity to plant and bring home a hydroponic plant.
The activities helped them develop an appreciation for the hard work needed to produce food, and they learned why food sustainability is important as they reflect on food wastage and its consequences.
Back in school, children applied their experiences at SDC and had a go with sustainable gardening: a low-maintenance, eco-friendly method of growing and harvesting plants. They used the seed packs provided by our community partner- NParks to grow their edible garden.
They also learned how to reuse water to provide for plants, learn of other sustainable methods to replace fertilizers (e.g. using ground-up egg shells), and reduce our carbon footprint.
Inspired by the hydroponics system introduced during their trip to the Singapore Discovery Centre, children explored other ways of growing soilless plants using sponges, water beads, clay, and water.
They grew their produce and cooked their vegetables for lunch in school.
Together, we can grow a greener future!