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Sunday, September 28, 2014

A field trip to Dhanmondi Lake

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” — Albert Einstein

Every walk is an opportunity for children to learn about the natural world. Our field trip to (adjacent to back side of 'Earch House Alternative School') was held on 25th September, Thursday. As it was the second day of my school, I was excited to have all school staff and children with us. Before going to details about our field trip, I would like to share some information about the area we visited.

Few words about Dhanmondi Lake:

Dhanmondi Lake is a lake located in the Dhanmondi residential area in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The lake was originally a dead channel of the Karwan Bazar River, and was connected to the Turag River.

The lake is partially connected with the Begunbari Canal. In 1956, Dhanmondi was developed as a residential area. In the development plan, about 16% of the total area of Dhanmondi was designated for the lake. The lake has become a well visited tourist spot, with cultural hubs such as the Rabindra-Sarobar located along its side
I found these 2 pictures from the web and before talking about our 'Field Trip' or 'Nature Walk' I want to explain that we walked along the pavement on the left side of 'red ship shaped house'.
The house beside the lake known as Chistia Palace, built in the 1990s by businessman. It is called Jahaj/Jahaz Bari.

In the 1st picture there lies a bridge which we crossed to reach at a round place where a small restaurant is situated.

The purpose of this field trip was to have fun while learning. The learning objectives were:

- For Kindergarten stages: Learn about their immediate environment.
- Names of the roads, knowledge of the area beside their school.
- At the same time learn about the trees, plants, flowers, habitat study.
- For Year 2 and 3: Animal Habitat and related topics such as learning and discovering the tree, flower, plant names. Observing closely to find out what lies around us which we miss during our walk around our own living places.
Middle School: Mapping and knowledge of environment.

We started our walk at around 9.00 am. The children were clear about the objectives of their 'field trip' and it was repeated briefly before leaving the school gates.

We started our journey with all teachers and students of 'Earth House Alternative School' at about 9.00. The weather was in our favor as it was not a sunny day but a bit cloudy. Children were carrying their mapping books, art books and small plastic box to collect the leaves or other findings.

We were very excited to start our short field trip. It was shocking to know that our kids could not say the name of the main road near to our school. The weather was really nice as we proceeded towards the bridge area. We planned to sit there for a break and provide some time to kids to record their findings around the lake area.
Our school head Shabbir sir ordered breakfast for all which was delicious.
Children started draw the pictures of lake and I started looking around. As the restaurant at the end of the bridge has become a social gathering place for neighbouring people, I noticed people sitting in groups. One group near us consisted of the older people gossiping with each other. Another group was enjoying music as one of the group member was playing with harmonium. Different voices from various angles were making this surrounding area a pleasant place.

Here are few of the pictures:

Nature walk is an opportunity for kids or teachers to have a close look at the environment around them. Record the flora and fauna life and develop a sense of appreciation for living things around us and nature.
The boys group sitting at a separate table
A snake charmer came there and he was asked to show the snakes. Children enjoyed the 'snake show' while snake charmer shared some information about the snakes, he was having in his boxes. It was really interesting when he asked us to touch a pretty looking striped snake. It was the first time I touched the body of a snake. It was a bit furry and soft.

Boys started questioning to compile a survey for their Youtube channel but unfortunately we had to shorten our field trip as cloud were darkening and it was a clear sign that we might have rain in a short time. We had plan to visit the other areas but as the showering forced us to move quickly towards our school building. Kids started screaming with joy as they enjoyed the brisk walk and running towards school premises.

* “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” — John Muir

“Those who contemplate the beauty of the Earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.” — Rachel Carson

Useful links:  (for those who want to learn more)

*  Jahaj Bari or boat house(Chistia Palace):amazing architecture on Dhanmondi lake side

* Dhanmondi Lake and the stories behind

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