Chimpanzees and Pangolins
As it’s the first World Chimpanzee Day this Saturday, Monday’s workshop celebrated and focused on our closest living relatives and why they’re endangered, and in keeping with the African animals theme, we also looked at pangolins, for they are such interesting creatures, but quite unknown, so much so that they might even go extinct before we’ve had a chance to understand, and therefore help them.
Watching their little faces light up in amazement, I explained to the children that Chimpanzees are our cousins and that we - humans - are actually part of the same family of primates. Astounded I listened as one child described how she’d seen an early man on Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures (CBeebies) walking on two feet and using tools just like us and chimpanzees. The teachers and I we were really impressed by the connections being made so quickly by someone so young.
The little people enjoyed colouring in and naming the chimpanzees on the board ‘Molly’ and ‘Agria’ - although I’m convinced the second name was a little boy actually trying to say ‘gorilla’ - as well as colouring in their own individual pictures I’d sketched for them.
With an entire covering of scales, pangolins could easily be confused with a dinosaur and they’re are not easy to draw in under 30 seconds either, but as they look so different and so cute the kids were quite transfixed and keen to complete their own individual creations. When asked why we need to look after these precious animals the word ‘endangered’ kept being said, or rather shouted with glee as the tiny tots knew they were getting the answer right.
Cutting down trees, sickness and hunting were all discussed and the more the four-year-olds began to realise how much we share in common with chimpanzees, the more they understood the importance of looking after them and all other animals alike. This workshop felt like conservation art play at its most effective.
As a great way of raising awareness for chimpanzee care, protection and conservation in the wild, hopefully the nursery children will have gone home and told their families about World Chimpanzee Day. Thank you very much for having me again Mad Hatter's, it really was a fascinating morning.
More information can be found at http://www.janegoodall.org.uk and it has also been posted on Jane Goodall' Roots and Shoots website https://www.rootsnshoots.org.uk/blog/2018/07/13/nursery-workshop-week-4-chimpanzees-and-pangolins/