Tree Identification Lesson at Gudigwa Primary School, Okavango Panhandle

Gudigwa Primary School’s Environmental Eco-Club Co-ordinators, together with the Eco-Club members and a community member, embarked on a tree identification lesson in school on the 06th of July 2023. The main purpose of the lesson was to introduce the Eco-Club members to the tree species in their school grounds, to know and understand, and learn about the characteristics of trees, to know the different uses of the trees, as well as to appreciate them.

During the lesson, the children were tasked to name the trees and their uses in their local language (Sesarwa, a San language). They also made rhymes in order to remember the trees and their uses… e.g. My name is mowana (baobab). I like water. I have a big stem to store water for future use. I give shelter to many animals.

Children in the Wilderness assisted the school with metal tree tags, while Boniface Sekondeko from Wilderness Botswana’s Environmental Department donated a tree book, to assist with referencing the identified trees in the school.

The team managed to identify and tag at least seven different trees – mokgomphata (Kalahari raisin), mophane (mopane), motsiara (purple-fruited cluster-leaf), mogotlho (camel thorn), motsentsela (bird plum), and motsebe (fever berry). This exercise will be done frequently for learners to master the tree names in and around the school. The club is planning to extend the identification lessons outside the school, since trees are limited in the grounds.

The school would like to appreciate Children in the Wilderness Botswana for the continuous assistance they provide to our environmental Eco-Club. This activity has birthed a new interest in the children, as they are learning about their environment, and they are now keen to care for and conserve those trees found around their school.

By Mr Ian Sekgee, Gudigwa Primary School Environmental Education Co-ordinator

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