Lucas, you are an old timer when it comes to protecting our natural habitat. You have been part of the Seaweek learning and you have taken part in the Eye on Nature competitions too. You and your family have continuously supported Cascades Kindergarten in our Enviroschools endeavours. This support has been extended since you were a baby and your older brother Austin was with us.
Last year, your family helped remove huge quantities of moth pods from around our local East Auckland environment. This year, you are wiser and more experienced in these Enviroschool projects. You understand deeply why we need to remove this ‘pest’ from our gardens and open spaces. You have helped me demonstrate during mat time what happens when the moth pod vine ‘smothers’ another plant besides it.
We revisited this concept through the same art process as last year. Just like we read story books repeatedly, this art experience helps you deepen your understandings on what a moth pod looks like, why we need to remove them and how we can use visual representation to show that it is “not good!”
Lucas, you have built on your knowledge of moth pod eradication through two years of community participation. As an Enviroschools Kindergarten we have a responsibility in expanding community action to protect and restore Auckland’s nature. We have a role to play in its protection, conservation and regeneration.
Through a whole centre approach, the tamariki, kaiako and whānau of Cascades Kindergarten can engage in collective actions. Lucas, you remembered from last year how tedious, how laborious and how time consuming this project can be. You reflected on it. You chose to participate on your own free will, in spite of the effort required. This shows me your resilience, your mental ability to be engaged, stay focused and finish something that you have started.
This art experience is just a tool to achieve greater objectives. By engaging in it, you are building on your knowledge, skills and dispositions. You are gaining knowledge of how moth pod plants can be pests. You are looking at photos and posters and learning how to identify a moth pod.
Through discussions, you are gaining confidence in explaining your take on why the moth pod plant should be removed. Lucas, your skills of eye-hand coordination and scissor control were extended by cutting out the moth pods. By going through the crayon and dye work, you were showing the younger children what persistence is. By finishing what you started, you were demonstrating what ‘stickability’ means. These are learning dispositions, or habits of mind that need to be repeatedly used and strengthened before you go to school. The more you use these habits of mind, the stronger they will get.
Lucas, you were using this art to convey a message. This message tells us that moth pods are not good. You used a big, black cross mark beside the pods to indicate their annoyance to us. You also used the sign to show that moth pod plants are not good. Hopefully, we will be able to collect a large number of moth pods and get them out of our East Auckland backyards. Each moth pod can spread 1000 seeds! So, every effort counts in stopping this pesky pest!
Thank you, Lucas, for choosing to be involved in keeping Auckland clean, green and pest free. You are taking our learning outside our gates and into the wider community.
Banner image: Lucas helps spread the message of moth plant eradication.