Monday, 17 March 2008

Africa - rainforest and poverty cycle

Well, here goes, a couple of months on, this is what I can remember of the rest of our Africa study.


We talked about the how we might feel in a tropical rainforest. Hot, sweaty and nervous about big spiders was the consensus.

We looked at some of the animals that thrive in the rainforest and played snap with some rainforest animal cards I had made.

We talked about deforestation and how that affects everyone - trees help to keep our air clean. We asked *why* people want to chop down trees in the rainforest and came up with quite a few ideas - to sell the timber, to make things from the timber, to make money out of the rainforest, to clear space for roads and houses to be built in the rainforest.

We looked at a wonderful youtube clip of the rainforest which sadly has since been removed by the video owner.

We talked about the Pygmies. They were featured in the youtube clip we watched.

We painted watercolour pictures of the rainforest. As we painted I chatted about the different canopies and long trailing vines. I think Hermione understood this and at times it seemed to be reflected in her art - but then add a bit more water and hey you could be anywhere! She said the trees in her picture were emergents. I think she just forgot to paint the canopies they should have been emerging from *grin*.


How do you explain the poverty cycle in Africa to a six year old? As simply as possible I figured. I made some pictorial representations of what I think are big factors in the poverty cycle. We talked about each in turn and Hermione placed them in various cycles, attempting to work out what exactly caused what. Not an easy one to fathom always.

We talked about war. There have been lots of wars in Africa. People are injured and crops can be destroyed. Money that could be spent on other things is used to buy weapons.

There are food shortages. Some people don't have the money to buy food. In some places food is not available to buy. It can be hard to grow things because of the climate. Some people are starving.

There is a population explosion. Despite conditions being poor babies continue to come and the population continues to grow. Food and medicine is in short supply but has to be shared between more and more people.

The climate is often very hot and dry. This makes it difficult to grow some crops. Water shortages. Not enough for people to drink. water crops, give to animals and keep clean.

Lots of people become ill - lack of food, water and medicine. Mosquitoes.

Africa Evening

At the end of all that Soo cooked us an African meal one evening with recipes from this book.

We had saffron rice and a chicken and peanut dish.

A vegetable bake.

A spinach dish.

Corn bread and fruity pancakes to follow.

Hermione had some rice and a piece of cornbread. Never one to experiment when it comes to food.

I thought the food was fantastic. The only thing that I wasn't so keen on was the African music which Craig had downloaded from the Internet. It was absolutely dire. He downloaded the first thing he came to and has since confessed that he only downloaded three songs and put them on random repeat *tut tut*.


Wobblymoo said...

Great project, sounds like you all enjoyed it, tut tut at Craig :)

Linda @ The Briar Patch said...

Great project, love the pictures and the painting. :-)

The veggie bake looks delicious as does the bread (not really into chicken any more but hope you enjoyed it anyway...)


Claire said...

I'm trying hard but just can't wean Craig off his dead flesh - er, meat I mean :-)