To provide an authentic Performance Task activity for the 6th graders in consonance with the curriculum and standards designed did not require much thought from the teacher. How else can the child better practice preservation and conservation of the ecosystem than letting them experience the actual – commune with nature, become environmental steward and go through the entire learning experience through observation and study? These are primarily the aims the teacher set to the 6th graders as they conducted the mangrove-planting and coastal clean-up activity on the mornings of January 21 & 28, 2017 at Balaring Mangrove & Eco-tourism Area in Silay City.
Two hundred twenty four (224) young environment warriors crossed the 800m long bamboo bridge amidst the copious mangrove forest with 20 teacher-chaperones in full assistance. Armed with 10 ‘bungalon’ (mangrove species) propagules to plant, the participants marched further in the muddy shore after a brief orientation from the BAMPA community headed by Nanay Nombring. In the delight to help the community and the environment, many participants eagerly planted more than what was instructed. With black trash bag in tow, the learners trudged the muddy and prickly mangroves in search for plastics and other trash to help clean-up.
What made the activity more significant was the chance to observe actual baby crustaceans and other invertebrates, unmindful of the little splashes each one makes dirtying their clothes and body. Not to mention the chance to clean and freshen up in an artesian well (something new to some) after.
Many hoped to come back and see how their planting has helped the mangrove forest grow. They wished to have similar activity when in the upper grades.