The  PYP 3 students had an enjoyable and memorable start to this week, as they set out on a journey to Tamhini. Geared up for the field trip, the children got a chance to be amongst  nature and explore their way through this forested area.

We  were accompanied by Mr. Anirudh Chaoji and Mr. Monish Dave, adventure enthusiasts, who made this trip memorable with their expert knowledge of the local ecosystems. The drive to the destination was scenic and relaxing, and we got a chance to witness lush green paddy fields and misty hills all around. On route we took a quick detour to have a look at a spot where there were milkweed plants, spit- bugs, and some quartz stones, to enrich the day’s experience.

On reaching the destination, the children hiked their way through grassy patches, observing the prickly leaves of the eggplant, freshwater crabs, the mimosa (touch-me-not) plant.  We were also privileged to see  members of the local community who were working with bamboo that they use for  basket weaving.

These experiences gave us a chance to observe natural defence mechanisms of living organisms, and the manner in which humans can live in harmony with the environment.  To wrap up the field trip, all the students entered a cool, freshwater stream, and the happiness on their faces showed the joy of being at  one with nature.

This experience on the trip were instrumental in informing the children about how nature thrives in different conditions. On returning to school the students continued to reflect on the trip and one learning engagement was to  record their observations and experiences with the help of a ‘Digital Journal’, which reinforced our approach of integrating technology into our learning. The students were given a  Google Slides template, and with glimpses of their field trip in each slide, the children were able to recount the way each image was associated with a learning experience for them. Each child added her/his personalized details about the images, and a beautiful digital journal took shape.

To take the unit further,  another learning engagement was to provide the students with a handful of thought provoking images, that represented living organisms in different situations. The students had to choose a couple of the images and explain what they see and what they think the image represents; they were also asked how it made them feel or what it made them wonder about. The fact that an image speaks for itself was applied in this activity, so that each child’s interpretation holds the key to their individual perspective.

The central idea of the unit was further unpacked with the help of a deeper interpretation of the words ‘bio-diversity’, ‘systems’, and ‘balance’. Consequently, the students came up with their own version of the central idea, and this stimulated their conceptual understanding of the  significance of ‘Sharing the Planet’.

The PYP 3 Team