Sunday, July 26, 2009

MAD lessons go to School

Cicada Tree Eco-Place is proud and excited to bring our MAD lessons to schools! Our first school was First Toa Payoh Primary School where we shared the wonder and beauty of butterflies and moths with 150 pupils of Primary 2 in May. Run for 5 classes over 5 days, our lessons covered butterfly and moth characteristics, diversity and ecology.

We brought live caterpillars and pupae to class. The kids were lucky to observe the stages of a butterfly life-cycle and participate in the release of newly emerged plain tiger butterflies at their school assembly yard. Besides live butterfly and moth caterpillars, we also brought preserved specimens of butterflies and moths to show the kids. The lesson ended with art and craft where the kids made colourful atlas moth wall-hangings which later decorated their classrooms and corridors.

Reflections from the kids were heartwarming. Here is one: “I hereby pledge that I will build a garden for the beautiful butterflies and moths to suck up the nectar from flowers to flowers.”

We hope to bring our MAD lessons to more schools soon. To register, write to Celine Low at: contact@cicadatree.org.sg.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Living Earth Walk - Rainforest

Raul Low (8 years old) attended Uncle Joe’s ‘Living Earth’ walk to the Botanic Gardens Jungle on 18 July 2009 and made some discoveries. He said:

“I found a lot of spiders and squirrels. A Golden Web Spider was having its breakfast. There's 314 types of plants. Uncle Joe taught us some plants can become toys. There is a leaf that flies like a helicopter. Another shaped like a knife and another a boat. We brought back a boat shaped leaf to play as boat. But could not find any snakes. I am doing an experiment with a seed tonight. Tomorrow, it should turn into jelly."

Auntie Vilma says:
Raul’s seed is from the Scaphium macropodum forest tree from which we get the jelly-like substance we find in our local dessert, 'cheng tng'. See Joseph Lai’s website on this amazing native plant http://www.eart-h.com/text/scapma1.htm