Monday, July 16, 2012

Ecology classes at HAFF

Last week I taught ecology to 7th graders who attend the HAFF IBP school in Bohoc Haiti.  Friday’s class had 17 kids and Saturday had 8, aged 13 to 22 years old, chosen by their teachers to attend.  We talked about the importance of birds and bats, and I introduced two topics new for me to teach – native animals and littering.  We used posters provided by the Haiti Audubon society (thanks Keith!) to discuss animals that are native to the country – the ones that were here before Christopher Columbus.  One poster had a mix of exotic (lion, zebra), domestic (horse, cow), and endemic (solenodon, flamingo) animals.  We finished with a discussion of littering and being a good neighbor, and then had a campus cleanup contest – whoever picked up the most trash won a prize.  In the Friday class was an outstanding student named Donald who really took an interest in all the props I had.  I had wanted to give him a bird book and binoculars but couldn’t single him out from the class.  Fortunately he won the trash contest so I was able to give him the book and binocs as his prize.  Gregory won Saturday’s contest and I gave him a frog life cycle set (thanks LeeAnn!).  Thanks to Diranot and Rhoda for translating, and Kristin and Louiders for helping!

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