Poh Kok Wee

Cedan Kindergarten

Poh Kok Wee
31 Aug 2018

Protect Our Biodiversity - SSDB18

In support of the “Start Small Dream Big 18” initiative, Cedan Kindergarten embarked on a project entitled “Protect Our Biodiversity” with the aim to encourage young children to have an interest in nature and consequently do their part in sustaining an environmentally-friendly future for many generations to live in.

The project was approached collaboratively between our school, children’s parents and government agencies/nature groups in order to support this course of action.

Biodiversity in itself is a difficult topic for adults, let alone pre-schoolers to grasp and understand. To overcome this challenge, a series of bite-size activities and events were gradually introduced over a period of four months to make the topic easier to digest and exciting to learn at the same time.

We started off by introducing the topic through stories, videos clips and songs on the following key points:

  • What is Biodiversity? - A term formed by two words ‘biology and diversity’ and represents the enormous variety of life on our planet.

  • Its Importance! - Biodiversity is fundamental to life on Earth and is needed for its invaluable ecosystem services like providing oxygen, food, clean water, fertile soil, medicines, a stable climate, recreation and many more…

  • Why Protect Our Biodiversity? - Biodiversity is disappearing at an alarming rate due to human civilization. Countless species are being destroyed due to habitat loss, degradation, invasive species, pollution, disease, climate change and over exploitation of resources.

Next, we proceeded with two biodiversity related hands-on projects:

  • Potting a plant: Our students potted a variety of plants (eg Chilli, French Beans, Maize, Angled Gourd, Bitter Gourd…) with the sole purpose of attracting pollinators like the bees, butterflies and ants. They were taught on how hardworking and useful these tiny creatures are in transforming the plants into yummy food for human beings. Our children were elated when they saw the sprouting process of the plants as early as a few days after sowing the seeds. At a later stage, our children brought the plants home to continue the process of nurturing them with lots of love: water; sunlight; and fertilizer. What a way to maintain the balance of our eco-system and indirectly protecting our biodiversity!
  • Building homes for birds and creepy crawlies: Our students learned about habitat loss and its related effects. A common example cited was when forests were cut down, many animals lost their homes and faced extinction. With the help of the teachers, our students tried their hands at making homes using plywood, small wooden logs, used bricks and tiles for the birds and creepy crawlies. These hand-made homes were then strategically placed in gardens, roof pillars and bushes by the children as part of their tiny efforts in protecting our biodiversity.

Following that, our kindergarten collaborated with National Parks Board (NParks) under their program called “Biodiversity Week For Schools” to promote the importance of biodiversity from 18th May to 3rd Jun 2018. We were honoured and excited to have adopted their preschool activity books namely: Playtime with Hershie the Hermit Crab & Playtime with Shelly the Hawksbill Turtle which were specially written based on our local context that taught our students on how they could help wild animals and make a difference to reduce threats to Singapore’s precious marine life. It was indeed a great opportunity for our students to learn the topic through fun and interactive methodology!

To further broaden their knowledge on biodiversity, especially in Singapore, our parents and children were strongly encouraged to participate in an annual event: “The Festival of Biodiversity”, organised by the National Parks Board (NParks) on 2nd & 3rd June 18. Representatives from nature groups, schools (primary, secondary and tertiary schools) and related government agencies were at hands to share and impart valuable knowledge to all the participants. Our parents & children were treated to many exciting hands-on activities, interactive exhibits as well as learnt about how to conserve our biodiversity. Above all, everyone gained a deeper understanding and appreciation of Singapore’s rich natural offerings, its benefits, and relevancy to us. It was certainly an eye opener for all our children to learn more about this topic from outside their classrooms! Furthermore, the festival had provided many valuable ideas and information towards our school’s holiday project: “Pledge to Protect Our Endangered Animals”.

Pledge to Protect Our Endangered Animals: During the mid-year school holidays (2018), our children were assigned to work with their parents to do a project on one type of endangered animal (in Singapore or world-wide) covering the following salient points:

  • Find photographs or draw pictures of the endangered animal.

  • How many of them are left in Singapore or world-wide?

  • Why are they endangered?

  • Suggest ideas on how to protect them.

From the artefacts and pledge cards submitted, we could see considerable efforts and caring thoughts were being put in to meet the objective of the project. It has definitely raised the awareness among our children to protect all animals and has also definitely contributed to our effort in protecting our biodiversity.

To cap off the “Protect Our Biodiversity” project, our children and their parents paid a visit to the Singapore Zoo where they attended the “Fragile Forest” & “Rainforest Kidzworld” guided tours that were mainly crafted to suit this topic.

  • In the “Fragile Forest” guided tour, our K1 & K2 students explored fascinating flora and came up close with lemurs, bats, birds, tarantulas, snails, millipedes and more… Above all, the tour demonstrated the importance of rainforests to our lives and ways we can help to save them.
  • The “Rainforest KidzWorld” guided tour allowed our PG, PN & N students to meet resident ponies and falabellas, feed the goats and learn how zookeepers groom the animals. They also came up close with some domesticated animals that were once commonly found in our homes in the olden days. This tour illustrated the importance of the needs to love and care for our present animals and prevent them from extinction!
  • After the guided tours, our group were treated to an entertaining and engaging live show, “Rainforest Fight Back” which featured a diverse range of rainforest animals showing off their dexterity by jumping and flying above the spectators. The main theme of the show was to emphasize how vulnerable our forest animals are and their determination to fight back their intruders in order to protect their priceless habitat!

Cedan Kindergarten believes that in time to come, this project will inspire and motivate our young ones to love our nature and take ownership in protecting our biodiversity, and make this planet a better place for all of us to live in.

Cedan Kindergarten is very grateful to our children’s parents for their solid support as well as all government agencies/nature groups’ contributions towards the fruitful completion of this project. Last but not the least, a big thank you to ECDA’s SSDB committee for giving us the platform and support in conducting such a meaningful event! More photographs and videos can be viewed at http://www.cedankindergarten.com.sg/gallery/

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