Amazing Elephants: A virtual field trip
VSE came to a close with a fantastic online excursion to Chiang Rai for Year 1 and Year 4. A total of 239 pupils, their teachers and various family members met over Google Meet with Khun Ou and Mr John of the Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation to learn about and enjoy the elephants that live there.
The children enjoyed watching the elephants playing, eating and interacting with their mahouts in the beautiful countryside right by Thailand’s border near Myanmar. Khun Ou’s engaging presentation explained all about elephant habitats, their individual biographies and the problems they face. Many elephants, mahouts and their families are facing considerable hardships with the shut down of Thailand’s tourist industry due to the pandemic.
There were moments of drama with a group of elephants bathing in the nearby river rushed up onto the banks trumpeting, chasing each other and surprising everyone with their fun-loving antics. At times, the elephants quietly allowed us to get up close and personal and learn about their physical adaptations.
The children were really keen to ask all sorts of questions throughout and typed these live into the chat with Khun Ou providing answers when she could. Some of the Year 1 also practised their STEAM skills by creating their make-believe binoculars to spot the elephants during the trip.
It’s incredible to think that despite being less able to travel, the children could still discover more about these beautiful animals and connect with the people helping them.
We hope to bring this experience to more year groups in the coming months. To find out more about the Foundation, please visit their website.
Mr Ewen and Mrs Susan