Saturday, December 16, 2006

Biodiversity and Art Workshop for Primary and Secondary Schools

Enigmata Creative Circle, Inc.
Department of Education, District of Camiguin

January 27, 2006 to March 17, 2006

I. Executive Summary

The Department of Education, District of Camiguin in partnership with Enigmata Creative Circle, conducts biodiversity workshops using multi-media for YES-O student officers in all the public primary and secondary schools in Camiguin. The purpose of the workshops are to enhance and increase the awareness of school children about the biodiversity of the Philippines, especially that of Camiguin, and strengthen values in environmental responsibility especially during their formative years. Using modern and popular art media, the assessment of the current environmental situation and children’s commitments and action plans for responsible stewardships are facilitated through interactive learning. The fun learning experience is already an indication of responsiveness, and in addition supporting methods and tools are being implemented for monitoring results.

This documentation report provides insights and learnings from the activities conducted with the children, as well as recommendations for action and guide for those who wish to replicate the activity.

II. Participants
The preliminary workshop was conducted in 40 schools from five municipalities and around two thousands students:
Mambajao - 16 schools
Mahinog - 8 schools
Guinsiliban - 2 schools
Sagay - 5 schools
Catarman - 9 schools
Below are the participating schools and number of students during the workshop:

Binunsaran 60
Mantigue 32
Liong 56
Balite 26
Catibac ES 56
Anito ES 110
Puntod ES 81
Cabuan ES 34
Sagay CS 30
Lawigan ES 42
Maubog ES 12
Owakan PS 29
Sagay NHS 39
Lawigan-Bura NHS32
Yumbing NHS 59
Mahinog CS 32
Holy Rosary HS 26
Panghiyawon ES 35
Yumbing ES 68
Mahinog NHS 34
Mainit ES 40
Tagdo ES 23
Benoni ES 32
Catarman CS 74
Bug-ong ES 34
San Isidro ES 37
Camiguin NHS 71
Pandan ES 29
Tacangon ES 39
Compol ES 40
Baylao ES 86
Bonbon ES 32
Agoho ES 32
Soro-Soro ES 32
Mambajao CS 49
Naasag ES 33
Tupsan NHS 66
Tupsan ES 64
Kuguita ES 57

III. Workshop
Workshops were facilitated with the use of modern and popular art media. The following were the activities conducted:

Activity 1: Take a Walk with a friend in Camiguin
The objective of the activity is for children to think about Camiguin and what makes it unique from the other provinces. This also allows them to think about the diversity of the environment in which they live in.

Step 1: The children form two circles—one small circle and one big circle, with the small circle inside the big circle. There number of children in the small circle is equal to the number of children in the big circle, and one child from the small or inner circle partners with another from the big or outer circle.

Step 2: The facilitator instructs the children to share with their partners what their favorites in Camiguin are, say, favorite nature spots. After the exchange, the children in the outer circle move one step clockwise to have a new partner. The facilitator then identifies more favorites to share between the partners, e.g. local food in Camiguin, wild animals, plants, etc.

Activity 2: Slide Show of “In the Beginning” (produced by Animo Puppet Theater, Bacolod, Negros Occidental)

The slides production is a visually appetizing children-friendly still shots of the colors and wonder of nature. Power words about nature and reflection questions on biodiversity conservations were flashed with still shots. The duality of the planet earth’s environmental state, from beauty to chaos. The state of the planet is a very alarming scenario and needs immediate attention. The children learns about the adverse effect of destructive human activity to the world.

Activity 3: Slide Show of “Camiguin Biodiversity” (produced by Enigmata, Camiguin)

The biodiversity slide production is a compilation of the CPSC students’ research on the biodiversity of the island and information gathered from the primer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and information from the world wide web. This is a brief overview of the terrestrial and marine biodiversity in Camiguin.

Activity 4: Circle of Life
The objective of the activity is for children to learn the relatedness and interconnectivity of things--just like how one ecosystem and different ecosystems are interrelated and how the extinction of even one or a few elements affect the whole.

Materials: 2 stones for each child

Step 1: The children form a circle. Each child holds 2 stones. The stones are moved around the circle (stone on child’s right hand is picked up by the child on his/her right; child moves the stone on his/her left hand to his/her right; child receives a stone on his/her left hand from the child on his/her left) while reciting the words tht relates to the self, other, community an environment. E.g. Ako, Ikaw, Kita, Kalibutan etc.

Activity 5: Web of Life
The objective of the activity is for children to learn that we have one breathe, one water, one clouds and one life… one cannot exist without the other.

Materials: strong rope

Step 1: play live music or canned environmental music and let the children gather in a circle facing the center.
Step 2: place ropes neatly coiled in the middle ground
Step 3: start giving the rope with one child then extend to the opposite direction letting the children hold the rope tightly stretched to create a web in the end
Step 4: when every child is already holding the rope, ask for one volunteer to sit in the middle of the web in full weight to act as “mother earth”
Step 5: the “mother earth” volunteer with closed eyes will enjoy the nurturing hands while doing the gentle lullaby swing

Activity 6: Stick Game
The objective of the activity is for children to learn the importance of leaving something behind for the next generation. This is to challenge who are the earth savers.

Materials: bamboo sticks or twigs for each participant

Step 1: The children form a circle. Each child holds one stick. Each turn the child will move to the right leaving behind the stick he/she was holding and grabbing the next stick. When the stick touch the ground, the child will have to leave the circle, until only two people are left and will be entitled the “earth savers”

Activity 7: Composting
The objective of the activity is for the children to learn segregation and the proper layering for composting. Discuss the difference between biodegradable and non-biodegradable, and review the 5 Rs, i.e. REUSE, RECYCLE, REFUSE, REDEEM, REDUCE.

Materials: twigs, leaves, manure, water,

Step 1: dig a whole enough for the compost
Step 2: place twigs next to the ground
Step 3: place dry leaves
Step 4: place animal manure
Step 5: place all fresh fruit peelings
Step 6:cover compost with soil
Step 7: wet surface with water and to maintain moisture
Step 8: cover on top with banana leaves and leave for couple of weeks before use

Activity 8: Drawing personal commitments
The objective of the activity is to encourage each child to make a personal commitment in taking care of the environment.

Materials: twigs, leaves, pebbles, flowers, shells

Step 1: The children form a circle. The twigs, leaves, pebbles, flowers and shells are piled in the middle of the circle. Each child takes a pick and goes back to the circle. The children are given time to reflect on a commitment, after which each child puts back his/her pick into a pile again in the middle of the circle.

Activity 9: Closing
The children learn a song which they could reflect on in taking care of the environment.

Kung kaya mong isipin
Kaya mong gawin
Isa isang hakbang lamang at ika’y makakarating
Tulad ng puno na galing sa binhi
Ang mga dakilang gawa’y nagmumula sa guniguni…

IV. Reference Materials Used
Slide Shows:
“On Earth as it is in Heavan” CD by Animo Puppet Theater, Bacolod City
“Camiguin Biodiversity” CD by Enigmata
Grupo Aprender con La Naturaleza (2003). A Day of Adventure in the Forest.

“Kung Kaya Mong Isipin” by Joey Ayala


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