“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children.” —John James Audubon
This week we are celebrating Earth Day at the La Paloma Elementary School. Because one of the greatest environmental problems in Nicaragua is deforestation and destruction of the Nicaraguan forests, we decided to stress the importance of trees to the elementary students through a variety of fun age-appropriate activities.
The Nicaragua Network reported, ” Logging of the 72,000 hectares of pine forests in Nueva Segovia, Madriz, and Estelí was stopped on Apr. 13 by an order from the Nicaraguan Institute of Forestry (INAFOR). On Apr. 15, government communications coordinator Rosario Murillo announced the formation of a presidential commission to evaluate Nicaragua’s forests which would be led by Attorney General Hernan Estrada.”
We could think of no better way to teach environmental awareness than through Dr. Seuss and The Lorax. Ron hauled a bucket of dirt to the library and filled the cups with the dirt, while Maxwell and I set up the program for the first and second graders.
I found several songs in Spanish from The Lorax movie, downloaded them to a memory stick and played them for the kids using our new projector. We already had The Lorax book in Spanish, but when I was looking for songs in Spanish, I found a video of a woman reading The Lorax and downloaded that, too.
Maxwell introduced the book and asked the children what they thought the book was about. Smart kids! We received a variety of good answers; It is going to be about chopping down trees. It will be about dirty water. I think it is about how to take care of the earth.
Meanwhile, we prepared the dirt so each child could plant his or her “Truffula” seeds to take home. Actually, they are pigeon peas or gandule seeds. We grew tons of them in our garden this year. They grow into hardy small trees loaded with pea pods.
The trees will bear fruit for three years. They are drought resistant and not affected by insects, so it was the perfect seed for the little ones to plant. Pigeon peas are incredibly versatile and can be used for many purposes. They can even be ground into flour.
The children are fascinated by The Lorax and as they watch, the book is passed around for them to follow the story read to them. I am loving our new high-tech library. I bought external lime green speakers the other day so we would be able to hear better.
The children drop their truffula seeds into the holes in the dirt, tenderly cover them, and the teacher writes their names on their cups.
“Say Feliz Dia de Tierra!”
Then, the children returned to their classroom, where Ron entertained them by drawing trees on the white board. Of course, they all marveled at his drawing skills and wanted him to add volcanoes and houses. 🙂
Happy Dia de Tierra from Nicaragua. How will you celebrate this special day?