Gr 4 Oakley House learners finding their way at Tokai Park  May 2015

Oakley House is a school catering for kids with special needs. The two grade four classes and respective teachers set out to explore Tokai Park in May 2015. We started by connecting with the big compass in the sky (the sun!!) and checking out the four cardinal points of the compass. I was very impressed that all of them knew that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. In this day of GPS and electronic gadgets, most kids don’t bother to register such minor details of the movement of the sun…..

We set off in a northerly direction until we hit the gravel path and followed it to the vlei. I asked them what extinct means and they could tell me all about dinosaurs.

Erica verticillata is a plant that nearly went extinct

When I told them that growing right in the vlei is a species of Erica that nearly went extinct that really caught their attention.

Erica verticillata in full flower
Erica verticillata in full flower








This young man would not stop asking me questions about Erica verticillata and of course I loved answering them.

This boy was amazed to hear that Erica verticillata nearly went extinct
This boy was amazed to hear that Erica verticillata nearly went extinct











Drawing of Erica verticillata
Drawing of Erica verticillata








Everyone participated in filling in the map worksheet, connecting the features of the landscape that they could see to the map and drawing in symbols to represent them.

On our walk back we compared the pine plantation to the fynbos area and tried to count the number of different species in each. It was clear to them that fynbos is not able to grow under the pine trees and that this means there is no habitat for animals and birds to live.

Drawing with charcoal

Our final activity was to find a piece of charcoal from a burnt plant and sit on the mount and choose a view to draw. Drawing is such a natural way of expressing ourselves and this group clearly responding very well to having time to do that.

The whole Gr 4 class drawling in the mound in Tokai Park
The whole Gr 4 class drawling on the mound in Tokai Park


Thank you Gr 4s for a wonderful day at Tokai Park

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