Armed with maps and clipboards, students set off at a good pace, plotting their routes and marking down points of interest. These included: schools, restaurants/ cafes, car service centres, rubbish, the river and hotels to name but a few. Several students (and Ms Jude) were excited to point out their homes to the rest of the class. Students recorded their ideas in a ‘word cloud’.
It was interesting to take a closer look at familiar features and to compare and contrast these. For example, students imagined what it might be like to live in the type of shack housing in which the poorest residents of Thao Dien reside. Previously, some of our students had not noticed that this type of housing exists in hidden corners of the area. The population growth due to increasing numbers of high rise apartment blocks was also discussed. During our walk, we also noticed some construction in our local area. Students imagined what they would build in these construction sites if they had the authority to do so. Some children wanted to see better housing for poor people and an improved rubbish collection system. Several children said they would build wider roads and better pavements. The more child-centred ideas included specialist toy shops, free phone shops and gaming centres.
In the heat, our students started to tire quickly and were glad to arrive back to the air conditioning of the school an hour later. However, Year 4 were saved the exertion of the full walk when they were caught in a rainstorm and had to complete the circuit by bus! The Year 4 teachers would sincerely like to thank the parents who supported the trips.
Ms Jude Handscombe, Year 4 Leader