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So many different ways to talk about this topic ... recycling

Our first pedagogic intervention with Aire, Julia and I had to be about recycling. Recycling... So many different ways to talk about this topic, so many linked subjects to it. With Aire, our main objective for this activity was first to sensibilize the youngest about the beauty of the environment and secondly warn them about the actual earth's state. Starting positively was for us essential.

We went first in one school of Romanian children who were speaking only Romanian, at thirty minutes from Cristuru Secuiesc. Then we went in another school, Hungarian one, in two different classes. One with the youngest and one the teenagers. To begin the activity and make it playful, we realized a treasure hunt with different type of trashes : plastic bottles, cardboard packaging, banana peel, soda cans, aluminum foil, pieces of clothes, eggshell ect. The had to find all of them and then decide in which bin – there were five- each trash has to been thrown. With the smile on their face and this facility to entertain with a few, they realized in less than three minutes this mission we gave them. Some of them hesitated, were uncertain of their choices while others were confident. It was our turn to participate: explanations about recycling's functioning, why this kind of trash goes in this bin, why another doesn't, why there are at least five different bins.
Explaining how recycling works wasn't enough for the three of us. Indeed, we consider that a child will remember and understand better this environmental notion if we stimulate his/her curiosity by way of the image. So we selected different pictures of plastic's and pollution's impact on the different ecosystems: the water -seas, oceans-, the forests and the air. We sticked the pictures in a chronological order on cardboard placards. The order starts with a photography of a natural environment clean, safe and beautiful. It simply reminds that the ecosystem is supposed to look like this and stay this way. Comes one after another different pictures of plastic pollution with a turtle eating a plastic bag, corals damaged by trashes, dears eating trash's bins, noxious smokes after combustion etc.

Perhaps a little bit disconcerted and surprised by the non-recycling's consequences, the children reacted a lot: some of them asked several questions, others added some comments, others confirmed the importance to take care about the ecosystem. Frustrating for me to not understand what it was about but I could still feel their interest for the subject. Follows several energizing games we prepared, one linked with the topic of the day: bodily percussions and vocal sounds to create a story about the rain, the snow and the storm. To end with this activity, we gave to each children a painted rock with drawings of leaves, trees, sun, clouds, fish, ladybirds, hedgehogs as a memory of this recycling activity: we could saw the smile appear on their faces.

Our second pedagogic activity was about creating a puppet show for children of a camp. We choose "The three whishes", a traditional Hungarian called "Három kívánság"in his original language. The story is about a poor couple which needs food to prepare the dinner for their children. A fairy appears, telling them she can accomplish three wishes. The couple doesn't agree about their desires and needs and by mistake, the first whish realizes: the man got a sausage instead of his nose. For the several puppet shows to come, we constructed a frame in wood to stage every tales. We built it at 85 % with recycled materials – salvage wood and textile- . In the same way, we created the three tale's characters and the objects with cardboard, wax textiles as an example for the children and then realized a lot of neutral bodies they will customize by themselves. We prepared some games as breaks for the activity. We went in one of the school of Cristuru Secuiesc to realize this activity : we had two different groups of children that we gathered at the end for the final show. Very focused during their puppet's creation, enthusiastic to play to our games and proud of their performance in front of their classmates, the children were contented.

I had the chance to make myself a friend during the line to go the canteen that gave me her hand and the half of her cake. We played during the breaks in the middle of the fallen leaves which constricted with the concrete of the building that surrounded us. Our different mother tongue wasn't a problem to interact with the children, to make us understand: when you feel something, the person can easily feel it too and understand it. No needs of words. That is what I learnt in this moment.