Using a school play to teach children about organic farming
Resource: Case study
Muirtown primary school in Inverness has come up with a playful way to teach children about organic food and farming – staging a ‘Wild and Wonderful Organic Farming’ play with a Star Wars theme. Jill Knowles, one of the teachers that run the school’s Eco Club, tells us more.
What they’ve achieved
Muirtown school recently learned about organic farming methods and decided to explore the subject further in the after-school club known as the Eco Club. Run by two teachers and a community volunteer, members of this popular club discuss issues relating to the environment and ways in which the school can reduce its impact.
The club decided to combine organic farming and animal welfare in the ‘Wild and Wonderful Organic Farming’ play.
Jill Knowles explains: "We used the animated video clips on the Soil Association website to help the children learn more about organic farming, and get some ideas for the play. The children could choose if they wanted a speaking part or not, and some wanted to work backstage. The play was written with these requirements in mind. One of the children designed the PowerPoint presentation to accompany the script and this was projected in the hall. The children had fun making masks and designing costumes. The Star Wars sound effects helped carry the play as they are dramatic and exciting!"
Featuring Luke Skylark, Obi Worm Kenobi, Hen Solo and Princess Leiabird (pictured above left), the characters in the play talk about the importance of healthy soil and animal welfare, convincing shoppers that buying organic potatoes is better all round.
Starring pupils aged 9-11, the play was performed in front of the rest of the school and some parents.
What they say
Jill said: "The children watching the play were captivated and the Star Wars theme really held their attention. The staff and parents had a good chuckle and everyone learned a bit more about organic farming."
A pupil in Year 5 said: "We learned that if the farmer sprays pesticides it can kill the aphids but then the ladybirds don't have food and the skylark can't find food either."
The difference it makes
Jill adds: "Every school year around 20 children attend the club. The children in the club are very keen to find out more about an environmental issue and perform plays about it to the rest of the school. It is a very active club and the members participate in a wide range of activities many of which involve being outdoors. Club activities include: playing eco games; organising the school composting programme and discovering nature in the local area. The children report back to the rest of the school on a regular basis, often in the form of a very interesting and entertaining assembly."
The play is available to download in PDF above.