As a part of the unit on Sharing the Planet, the EY2 learners explored the concept of Connection between humans and animals as they went for their field trip to the petting zoo at Japalouppe. As it was their first field trip, they were naturally very excited, especially to meet all the animals.
We started early at 8:10 am after briefing the learners about safety rules and reminding them to stay close to the adults accompanying them. For some of our learners, it was their first time interacting with so many animals and they were a little anxious, but they looked forward to the experience.
The children had their snack on arrival. After a brief introduction about Japalouppe and the animals they would be seeing and feeding, each was given a bucket which consisted of carrots, bread and cabbage leaves in order to feed the animals. We started by feeding the emu with the leaves. This was followed by visiting and feeding more animals at the zoo. The horses, goats, cow, pig and rabbit were fed cabbage and carrot sticks while the ducks, geese, turtles and chicken were fed pieces of bread by our very enthusiastic feeders.
The opportunity to pet and interact with the rabbits, goat kids and the guinea pigs was enjoyed immensely, especially by the children who were initially anxious being close to the animals.They were risk takers as they petted and fed the animals despite their inhibitions.
This experiential learning provided opportunities for the learners to develop some ATL skills such as:
Communication skills as they listened to directions and information.
Social by cooperating in a group as they shared resources and space and took turns feeding the animals and interacting with them with care.
Research skills as they observed the animals using all senses to understand the characteristics of some animals, look for similarities in their physical appearance, food, habitat etc. And asking questions.
Thinking skills by learning new information, taking action and thinking before acting.
Self- management skills by completing tasks, taking care of self and adjusting to new situations with confidence.
The trip to Japalouppe was a great way to use their senses to explore, learn about, develop respect and appreciation of animals while learning about their own responsibilities as explorers and custodians of nature.