Field Trip Day…Lilayi Elephant Nursery!

Field Trip Day…Lilayi Elephant Nursery! By Betty Trummel

Some of the students and teachers from Shine Zambia had an amazing experience today, visiting an elephant rehabilitation center just outside of Lusaka. Excitement was in the air as they boarded the bus for our field trip. Experiences such as this don’t happen often, and judging by the engagement with our guides, with me and with their teachers…I’d say our day was a huge success!

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Students were quiet and reluctant to ask their questions at first. But as the day went on, students gained confidence to ask those important questions that help with comprehension, whether it be in an oral presentation or written text. Questioning skills are such a critical part of literacy.

Children  took time to read displays, help me record a list of facts, and they were mesmerized by the baby elephants when they came in for feeding and “play” time.

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When we got back to school this afternoon we had a debriefing session where the students enthusiastically shared what they had learned. Hands were shooting up in the air to be called on to give information.  It was an incredible day for them, and for me…seeing them engaged in active learning and hearing them sing with joy all the way on the long bus ride.

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Watching those orphaned baby elephants be fed 2 liter bottles of formula/milk, eat leaves/sticks, play in the water, and interact with each other was a real treat for all of us!

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I will extend their learning tomorrow when each student will create a mini book to highlight facts about the elephants and the rehabilitation facility. They will include some of their own drawings, and write about their feelings and impressions from this special day.

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