In July 2015, the PCEP staff Dr. Emerson Odango and Ms. Dorsa William engaged in lessons with students and teachers at summer programs hosted by Mwan Elementary School and the Chuuk Women’s Council (CWC). Using PCEP’s High Island and Low Island Environment posters, both in Chuukese and English, students were able to read about and explore special ecosystem features right outside their classroom doors!
Over two days, students worked together to read the descriptions of major ecosystems on their island and then left the classroom to walk to a nearby environment illustrated in the poster — a mangrove swamp (chia) near Mwan Elementary and the seashore (neppi) near the CWC site. Students were directed to pay close attention to what they observed through their senses (e.g., sight, smell, hearing, and touch), and then returned to the classroom to draw and write about those observations, which they then presented to classmates.
Other activities introduced with the posters include asking students (a) to write local names of the flora and fauna they can identify directly on the laminated posters using dry-erase markers and (b) to draw on the white space on the back of the poster human activities that occur in the environments, like fishing, planting taro, and harvesting bananas.
The experiences from this successful poster pilot on Weno will help refine the learning activity handout, which will soon be made available on the PCEP resources webpage. Other resources, including the High and Low Island Environment Posters in 10 languages are available at http://pcep.prel.org/resources/.