Environmental deterioration is such that it is no longer sufficient to just teach about flora and fauna. Children – and adults – need practical skills to be able to understand the causes of pollution, soil degradation and climate change, and know how to lessen those problems through lifestyle and consumer choices. Through hands-on skills, children can learn to regenerate disturbed land, build soil, grow food and trees, reduce need for irrigation, and prevent soil erosion through flood management.
Pitchandikulam offers environmental education in schools, villages, women’s groups and eco-clubs using a variety of academic, practical and creative methods. This education increases sensitivity and awareness of the natural world, understanding of human impact and environmental restoration skills.
- Grade 6 – 8 classes, online and in-person
- PF Environmental Education Teacher training
- Nadukuppam model eco-school: waste segregation, natural grey water filtration, kitchen garden, tree nursery, solar energy
- Field trips to Adyar Poonga, and other ecologically diverse sites
- Eco-art installations at eco-parks for experiential learning
- Theru Koothu eco-plays
School extra-curricula classes
A team of teachers offer bi-weekly classes in schools across Chennai that enhance students’ knowledge of their bioregion, soil health and teach tree planting, composting, how to grow a kitchen garden, and how to do waste segregation. These engaging, fun classes are carefully designed, with custom made educational demonstration videos and participation in hands-on skills, games and exercises. More details
Pitchandikulam provides additional training for school science teachers, and hires environmental education teachers trained to teach this new curriculum. Training includes on-location immersions at Nadukuppam to gain direct experience of restorative eco-elements. Through online and in-person classes, teachers are introduced to the academic content, exercises and games that make Pitchandikulam’s classes fun for both teachers and students.
Know your Herbs!
Students learn to identify medicinal plants found around the school campus, learn what ailments the plants help with, and how to propagate and grow the plants, and how use the plants in teas and preparations. These empowering skills help preserve traditional knowledge that is being lost in many places. Games, colourful posters and outdoor activities keep the students’ interest.
EcoArts: inspiration through Theru Koothu
Theru Koothu is a traditional theatre form using costume, music and scripts that creatively enhance awareness of environmental themes like water pollution, the importance of forests, and waste disposal. These plays attract many students and village people, creating popular entertainment while widening awareness, gaining local media coverage and appreciation by the Education department.
Students visit sites like sacred groves, wetlands and coastal areas, to explore biodiversity there. Seeds are often collected. Trees, medicinal plants, animals, birds and aquatic species are identified. Students learn about bioregion water sheds, how to mitigate pollution and other challenges, and how to restore land to its previously pristine condition. Nadukuppam showcases water retention landscapes, grey water filtration, solar energy, waste segregation, upcycling and a large kitchen garden, The coastal ecocenter ….
School children mapping their village
In this activity, the students are taught about creating a base map of their village. They learn to draw out main community infrastructure like roads, schools, playground, water bodies, shops, markets, temples and health services. They identify places where big trees are and streets with houses. These maps are drawn on the ground with chalk or color powders. Elders in the village are asked to comment and make corrections. Children learn how to map using direction, scales and codes. They also learn about their village through this activity.
Photos – TCL classes, Vepperi, kids in eco-parks, eco-art
Pitchandikulam’s unique school curriculum
More about teacher training link to another page
More about making your school a model eco-school link