Home sweet home
A one day programme for school year groups 4, 5 & 6, exploring various habitats and the interconnectedness of the species who call those habitats a home.
The woodland job centre is open. The “Night Running Population Controller” (the Fox) and his friends have their job descriptions and with their housing applications have to find a home. Will it be the field or the wood? What will happen if one of these habitats vanishes?
The Home Sweet Home provides a different and exciting experience that brings to life the topic of habitats with drama and sensory activities. The programme provides a perfect accompaniment for other activities which explore habitats. This programme of activities was designed by the Institute of Earth Education.
Home sweet home is designed to
- nurture respect for the natural world through first-hand contact
- promote understandings of different habitats and the needs of species that live there
- explore the impact that human activity and natural change can have on a habitat and the needs of species that live there
- encourage children to make a positive contribution to caring for their environment at a level appropriate to their age
The children are invited to the Home Sweet Home Job Centre, which has vacancies for plants and animals to live in one of the two communities, the field and the wood. Positions include the Long Nosed Nut Borer and the Munchable Jumping Energy Muncher.
The children arrive at the Job Centre in the woods where they find a board listing job openings in the area. Everyone chooses a different job description which explains what their plant or animal does and what its needs are.
2. The Grand Tour
The group is then taken on a tour of the two communities so that they can find a home. The special features of each habitat are pointed out and each participant checks whether they can find all four of their needs of life (energy, air, water and shelter), in that place before making it their home.
3. Post Boxes
Having settled in to their community it is time to meet the postman. Each habitat has a post box with letters addressed to the plants and creatures which dwell there. Their mail tells each participant some fun facts about their plant, insect or animal.
4. Community Court
While the group has been opening its mail, a problem has arisen. The woodland is to be felled for development and so the woodland dwellers all need to find a new home. A community court is set up with the field residents serving on the jury. The woodland residents take it in turn to try to convince the jury that they can meet all their needs of life in the field instead, with varying success!
5. The Earth Walk
The Earth Walk is a series of sensory activities designed to take a closer look at some of the woodland’s smaller residents and explore the woodland habitat from different perspectives. The children are invited to their own woodland cocktail party, become Park Rangers of micro-country parks and walk upside down in the trees!
6. The Departure
The children each receive a Home Sweet Home Ideas Book with further ideas for ways in which they can explore, and help to protect and improve habitats near to where they live and study.