The primary 2 and 3 children at Castlehill Primary School in Campbeltown had a second beaver lesson last week. When I walked into their classroom I was faced with a fantastic wall display made from writing work and pictures that they had done after my last visit.
This time, the lesson was all about the habitat that beavers create, and all the other wildlife that lives there. The children created a big picture of a woodland scene with a stream flowing through it, they then added the wildlife they would expect to see in such an environment. We then added beavers to the picture and talked about what changes would happen now the beavers were there. The children did some excellent sound effects as they made the picture beavers chop down the picture trees to create a dam and lodge (I never knew beavers sounded like chain saws!) after the dam came the pond. Once this was added to the picture the children added lots more animals and plants to the habitat, and people too because they thought it would be a great place to visit.
The next part of the lesson involved the children going around six work stations in the room filling in their workbooks as they went. At each station, they had to use the clues to correctly identify an animal, build plant jigsaws, make a duck’s nest, match up cards with pictures of people and the activities they could be doing, and put their hands into ‘feely bags’ to identify the life-cycle of a frog.
The children all worked really well together in their groups, there was lots of sharing and good communication between them all, and I was very impressed with their vocabulary and understanding of lots of words that I thought would be new to them – I think they had been doing some research!
In the last part of the lesson, we used foam building blocks with pictures of animals and plants on them. The children worked together to build an arch out of the blocks with the beaver block as the ‘keystone’ holding the rest of the arch together. This helped illustrate how the other wildlife depends on the beaver and the habitat they have created. The children then got to knock the beaver keystone out of the arch and watched what happened to the rest of the arch when the keystone was removed – crash!
I had a great day at Castlehill, the children were so enthusiastic, and I think they enjoyed themselves as well. Hopefully in the spring they will get to come up to Knapdale and see some of the wildlife for themselves.