Janina, antonia and moses attach brightly colored pictures to a rough poster wall in their school. The small works of art, painted by first-class students, show apple and cherry trees throughout the year. The trees can be seen in their prime, bearing abundant fruit, with autumn-colored leaves or with snow-covered, bare branches.
"In the past school year, there were various interdisciplinary activities on the theme of 'trees' at our school. This year in march, all the classes in our school planted a fruit tree together. Each class became a sponsor for its tree and had to give it to the children themselves. We watched it as its leaves grew and buds were formed.", reveal janina, antonia and moses; they attend the third class. A seventh tree was planted at the end of april. Many guests of honor came to the upper franconian day of the tree.
Two project topics
",the tree, my friend' was one of two project themes with which we applied for the first time as an environmental school", explains principal annegret hummrich. Your educational institution has always shown great commitment to environmental protection.
For the project, the then first grade class started a long-term observation of various tree buds already in december and kept a diary about it. In the WTG-lessons, the students were occupied with the wood of different trees and its characteristics. Among other things, they made wooden table tennis rackets.
"A call for a photo competition in february encouraged children and parents to look for special trees in their homeland, research their history and photograph the tree. The 47 photos were exhibited at the school festival and the winners were "crowned", says the principal. In addition, the second-graders in particular got to know native trees and hedges and their inhabitants better in the spring – as part of their lessons with a team from the federal nature conservation organization.
The second project topic was "connecting generations. The motto was "learning together and learning from each other". The project started in december, when the residents of the senior citizens' home were given a treat with handicraft lessons and an advent concert. "We also invited grandmas and grandpas to school. They talked about how they used to celebrate nicholas and christmas. My grandmother and grandfather came all the way from ansbach. My grandmother told a lot of stories. She even had an old doll with her", antonia remembers.
Doll carriage from the old days
janina's grandmother also had plenty to "pack" thereby. "My grandmother brought an old doll's pram and old books that she had kept from the past to school", the girl tells. And moses also found the interaction between the generations "nice and interesting".
The school's environmental officer, irmgard bauerfeind, confirms that the enthusiasm on both sides was great: "everyone was very enthusiastic. It was fun for the children when their grandparents told them stories about the old days. It was easy to see how they learned from each other." Also in february, many parents and grandparents of the first and second classes followed the request to read to the children once a week in the classes, but also to practice reading together with them and to improve their reading skills. The topic was also discussed in art lessons in all classes and was also put into practice artistically in the participation in the raiffeisenbank painting competition "generationen verbinden" ("connecting generations").
"It was important to us that schoolchildren pass on their knowledge to parents and grandparents", the rector emphasizes. On solibrot day, for the benefit of the strab children in brazil, the children of class 4b gave information in a coffee shop about the misery of children in recife. Class 2b showed parents and grandparents how to use a whiteboard, and then they loved to do various tasks on it. On another morning, they practiced with them how to use the reading internet program "antolin works.
Young and old alike had a lot of fun at a game day with the first-grade parents and at a joint sponsor run (nordic walking), with a third of the proceeds going to the old people's home for the purchase of games.
"We will continue the generation project and apply again as an environmental school", the principal already announced. The second project topic for the next time has not yet been determined. Antonia, janina and moses, who are impressed by the events so far, are also pleased that the intergenerational activities will continue. They were surprised to hear: "people didn't have much money in the past and children had less toys than we have now. Nevertheless, they were happy and satisfied with what they had."