Can you name a bird that can fly backwards? Can you name a primate that sometimes eats with its feet? Can you name a killer amphibian? Can you name any medicinal products from the rainforest?
These are some of the questions asked by our Lower Sixth geographers when teaching primary school groups about a biome system where approximately 50 percent of the world’s animal and plant species exist.
Olly, Zeeshan and Will led the effort to share their knowledge and passion for the rainforest by playing taboo and rainforest bingo to expand learner’s geographical vocabulary by matching animals to their living environment using cryptic clues and vividly describing what it is like to live in the rainforest.
Marianne and Will taught students about animal adaptations and how to design their own rainforest animal that can survive the challenges of the rainforest environment. They encouraged learners to present what they have learnt in front of their peers.
“I have taught the year 6s more in-depth knowledge on the adaptations of the rainforest despite them knowing already quite a lot. I learnt how to be more encouraging and how to help them without telling them straight away the answer. My favourite part of the course was making the rainforest in a box as it allowed me to have more conversations with the students and to see their creativity come to life. During this process I have become more confident in public speaking and now I enjoy teaching the students.”
Marianne (Lower Sixth)
The final part of the module led by Sam and Henry, required learners to create their own ‘rainforest-in-a-box’ diorama, which is a model of the rainforest using recyclable materials, ingenuity, and a combined effort. Working in small groups and paired with one or two of our Geographers; the challenge was to use the finite supplies provided, to design a rainforest environment that included vegetation, animal life and non-living elements. This project had unintentionally brought out the competitive nature of the lower sixth, with some friendly rivalry to see whose group would produce the most creative rainforest diorama. Currently it is a tie between Team Marianne & William verses Team Sam; with one win each – this week may ultimately determine the winner of the unofficial title of ‘Diorama Master’.
“For the last two terms, I have been teaching primary school students about the Tropical Rainforest. Going into this year, I was apprehensive about the awkwardness of meeting a new set of children every 5 weeks, but after working with my peers I soon realised that, with dutiful teamwork, we could quickly break the ice and start to devise a masterful strategy for teaching. This ability to trust in my peers and myself is new for me and I hope to propagate this further, as I believe it makes me a more likeable teacher and person in general. I have most enjoyed building rainforest dioramas with the students as it is always fulfilling to see the students use all the knowledge they have gained over the course to create a detailed and accurate impression of the rainforest.”
William (Lower Sixth)
Mr Worrell (Teacher of Geography/ Primary Ambitions Tropical Rainforest)