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Nature conservation, wildlife and endangered species workshop in Italy

Pic3On March 27, another from the series of workshops took place in Italy, at the secondary school of Scauri. Again 15 participants, pupils of the first and second grade took part.
At the beginning, we did a short evaluation of the previous workshop. The time travel brought out some negative feelings from the day before and we spent some time in imagining positive scenarios and proposing positive solutions, some of the proposals were very interesting. One of the participants, Francesca, suggested to the others to not kill any kind of animal during all their life (neither insects). She proposed to create a world law to forbid the animal killing or deportation. Simone proposed to create special houses in each part of the world where people can take care of animals and treat them as members of their family.
During the treasure hunt the children had to find the pieces of the "forest puzzle" and to compose it all together. At the end we chose our animal/plant and we started to ask each other trying to understand "how to behave as that animal or plant". Facilitators had a lot of work during this informative session but it was very important also for them. At the end we presented the story of our animal or plant miming it and the others had to understand and guess from the performance what we were.
This activity was quite challenging. It needed to be very well organized because the children had a lot of notions about animals and plants but none experience about their real life. As we saw the interest in getting to know more and more from the others, we introduced the concept of collective knowledge as instrument of learning. "It is not important how many books you learn by heart but how many friends you can involve in your learning process!" We pointed out the importance of collective knowledge based on direct experience and we discovered together a lot of different plants. Each participant described a plant he/she knew by direct experience and all together we saw the difference between books and "senses" in fixing our knowledge.
At the end, all the participants created a wildlife populated eco system. It was a little bit confused but we pointed out that Nature is very well autonomously organized.