It is rightly said by William Shakespeare that ‘one touch of nature makes the whole world kin’. To help children experience and understand this kinship, this bond between nature and the human beings, Staford School organized a field trip on 3rd of May 2014, giving students of classes 2, 3 and 4 the opportunity to get closer to the nature, experience its beauty and learn from it. One of the aims of this field trip was to let children learn from first-hand experience and observation what their Science textbook lessons on plant kingdom and soil were trying to say in print. In the lap of nature, the children would get to see different varieties of plants and learn about their physical form, shape, texture, smell as well as their botanical details.
The students of classes 2, 3 and 4 were taken to a nursery accompanied by the class teachers of each of the classes- Ms. Krati Bajpai, Ms. Sangeeta, Ms. Sarah Abbas, Ms. Shailja Joshi, Ms. Neha Bhasker, along with the subject teachers- Ms. Towheed Fatima and Ms. Alka Singh. The owner of the nursery, Mr. Agarwal heartily welcomed the children. They were lovingly taken around the nursery and the gentlemen there got the children acquainted with the different varieties and species of plants and trees. There were several unique plants, bonsais and a whole lot of fruit trees which added to the dense green foliage and was a wonderful sight for the children. The children also felt for themselves the difference in the temperatures with so many trees around.
The students curiosity to know about the beautiful plants surrounding them was unquenchable. The numerous varieties of shrubs and trees in one place, was indeed a great learning opportunity for the children, where they not only got to know the names but were able to associate with the physical form of the plants and trees, they had only heard or read about. Children saw many varieties of plants like Hibiscus, Calendra, Rubber plant, Variegated Chandni, Ficus Panda etc. Not only this, they also got to know about trees like mango tree, x-mas tree, finger palm tree, fox-tailed palm tree and the much appreciated litchi tree, with the raw litchis hanging from the branches. The children were also astonished to see a 12 year old bonsai banyan tree, and were thrilled to learn about this Japanese art form of growing miniature trees in a container. However, the centre of attraction for the students was the Touch-me-not or the Mimosa Pudica plant, which overwhelmed them after they saw its leaves fold inward and droop when touched or shaken. The Science teachers briefed the students about the soil and suitable environmental conditions required for the healthy growth of a plant and also showed them different parts of the plant, their products and uses – in the open air classroom in the lap of nature, with a plethora of readily available resources and teaching aids right there, all around the children.
At the end of the day, the children came back with a handful of memories and lessons well learnt. They also realized how much care goes into turning a young sapling into a fully grown, fruit bearing tree. This out-door learning opportunity would also have reiterated in their minds the fact that trees are our saviours and we need to plant them, protect them and take good care of them.