Every week, we have Wildlife Club at three different schools in Shimoni. This term we decided to have a Shimoni forest theme, so the kids could learn everything about the animals that they see every day. So far we’ve done a general lesson about animals in Shimoni, primates, birds and snakes. Wildlife club is always fun because it’s less formal than an English lesson and the kids love to learn about animals. Sometimes we take them outside to play games, for example doing a quiz where the kids have to pick answer A, B or C and run to a certain point. For the Wildlife Club about birds we brought binoculars and went birding with small groups of kids. They were very good at spotting birds!
My favourite Wildlife Club so far this year was the one about snakes. We made a poster with pictures of six snakes that live in Shimoni: the forest cobra, black mamba, green mamba, puff adder, Eastern stripe-bellied sand snake and the brown house snake. The kids had to stick cards on the poster with the colour on it, the length, if the snake is venomous or not, the habitat and what food it eats.
We also brought a tape measure to show the length of the different snakes – the kids were very shocked when they saw how long a black mamba really is (about 270cm on average)!
After this, we tested if they could actually recognise the snakes by showing them pictures on a laptop and having the students identify them. I was very pleased to see that they could name them all correctly! There were lots of “oh’s” and “ah’s” when the kids saw the snake pictures, because to be honest some of them look quite scary.
Then Kathryn – who is an amazing story teller – read them a story about a snake trying to eat a mouse. To finish it off, we watched part of a documentary about snakes. The kids always love it when you bring books or videos, because they never really get to chance to read books or see documentaries.
All in all, I think it was a very successful Wildlife Club. Hopefully this week’s Wildlife Club, which will be about Shimoni’s beautiful butterflies, is going to be just as great!
Lisanne Spruit – Shimoni Community Field Staff