3. Using local resource people
There are many things for children to know about if they are to remain healthy. Some of these they can learn in school, but many things they can learn at home or in the community.
To encourage them to learn more from the community, you can devise ways to help them find out who they can learn from. This will motivate them to want to learn. One way to encourage this is to give the children homework where they ask their parents or grandparents about something. How would you help the children do this? For example, what information will they gather? What questions will they ask? How will they record the information?
Another way is to invite people from the local community, who know about local healthy practices, into the classroom. This is what one teacher does in Case Study 3. See also Key Resource: Using the local community/environment as a resource.
Case Study 3: Using a local person to learn about local food
Mr Acorlor asks Mrs Fuseini to visit his class to talk about local food. Mrs Fuseini is the first wife of the local chief and every year she visits schools to help the children learn about how food is cooked and stored.
She takes cassava flour, maize meal, dried fish and meat to the school and she tells the pupils about cooking these foods and drying them in the sun.
They identify all the foods that are available locally. The pupils are excited about the visit and listen carefully.
Mrs Fuseini talks about the grain harvest and how long the local store will last and the pupils find out how other local food is grown and stored (see Resource 3: Traditional food storage).
The next day, Mr Acorlor draws pictures of the local foods and the pupils put them in to the food groups. They talk about where the foods come from and discuss in groups how different foods are cooked and preserved.
Mr Acorlor is pleased to see that the pupils have remembered much about the visit. He sees how the new schooling experience motivated them to learn. They planned it over two to three weeks, which meant that it was well organised and a huge success.
Key Activity: Using local resource people
This activity is about planning and carrying out a lesson where you invite a local expert into your class. To plan this effectively, you need to think about the following:
Which local resource people could visit your class? What health topic could they cover? For example:
- a farmer to talk about local food;
- a traditional healer to talk about beneficial plants and herbs;
- a housewife to talk about storing and cooking food;
- a nurse who can explain everyday hygienic practices.
You will need to:
- plan an activity to check the pupils’ prior knowledge of the topic;
- discuss with the pupils what questions they will ask the visitor;
- tell the visitor what to talk about and for how long;
- plan a pupils’ activity after the visit to explore ideas further.
In the last activity, you could assess how much the pupils have learned by asking them to write stories or do role plays to share with the class.
Now carry out your lesson as planned above and think about its effectiveness.
You could develop your pupils’ findings into a class presentation for the school assembly.