-N. Sivaranjini, GPS Moorthikuppam
We, the teachers and students of Government Primary School, Moorthikuppam, planned to take a trip to the nearby forest on 17 December 2018 in order to create awareness about forests among children as well as teachers.
Objectives of the visit:
- To observe the different trees, birds, and insects in their natural habitat
- To identify and list the local birds and animals by listening to their sounds and observing their features
Initially, a discussion was conducted about the forest with the children at school before the visit. Posters on Fauna of tropical dry evergreen forests were used for the discussion. The students were divided into three groups to study the posters and find out the names of the different birds that inhabit such forests.
Students exploring the forest poster and identifying the bird names
Following this, a few basic rules were set by the students (through discussion) that were to be followed in forest.
- We should be quiet. It is only then that we will be able to listen to the sounds of birds.
- We should not run or fight with each other.
- We should not pluck any fruits/flowers/leaves.
After the discussion which lasted for 45 mins, we, the teachers and students of classes 3, 4, and 5, started our walk to the forest. The students led us all, as they frequently visit the forest.
Pictures: A gooseberry tree, A cactus flower, The Shredded skin of a snake
Variety of flora and fauna observed:
We saw a group of black-headed ibis, which are white-coloured birds, flying in a V-formation, before entering the forest. Once inside, we saw different kinds of trees: gooseberry (நெல்லி), jamun (நாவல்), cashew (முந்திரி), neem (வேம்பு), and guava (கொய்யா). The gooseberry trees were over pouring with its fruits as it is that season when they grow. We also spotted flowers in cactus plants. It was yellow in colour and beautiful. We also saw a shredded snake skin. It was very long, and the students started to observe it curiously.
When we reached the middle of the forest, everyone assembled together and stayed silent for a few minutes to listen the sounds of the birds. The students listened to various calls from animals and started guessing the names of the animals which made them: mongoose, crow, sparrow. They were also able to differentiate between natural and man-made sounds. They identified the sound of a religious song playing in a loud speaker, the sound of a vehicle, and the sound of an earthmover as man-made and the sounds coming from birds as natural.
The students learned about the sounds of birds by actually listening to them. They thoroughly enjoyed watching the birds in their natural habitat. While returning from the forest, we spotted a group of parrots flying in the air.
The thoroughly enjoyable walk was made possible with the help of a resource person from Azim Premji Foundation. They helped us to identify the birds by their names and their sounds. A list of birds observed during the walk are as follows:
- Common crow (காக்கா)
- Common myna (மைனா)
- Rose-ringed parakeet (பச்சைக்கிளி)
- Green bee-eater (நீலவால் பஞ்சுருட்டான்)
- White-headed ibis (அறிவாள் மூக்கன்)
- Little egret (சின்ன கொக்கு)
- Pond heron (நொல்லமடையான்/குருட்டுக்கொக்கு)
- White-throated kingfisher (வென்தொண்டை மீன்கொத்தி)
- Indian roller (பனங்காடை) Hen (கோழி)
After the forest visit, the students were able to identify birds from their sounds, different plants and trees by their names. The discussion and the visit to the forest was completed in just 2 hrs.
Forest visits provide a great learning experience for students and teachers of our school. These experiences help students to observe and enjoy plants and trees in their natural habitat.
Term: Term 2