• Title: Saoirse - The Holy Family Junior School Goat

    Class Group: First Class

    Age Group: 6-7 years

    Subject Area: An integrated project involving Civics, Geography, Religion and English

    Goals of the Project:
    1. Social
  • That the children would participate in a third world development project that was real and tangible.
  • That an atmosphere of co-operation and team spirit be created in the school.
  • That the children appreciate the on-going benefits of sending a live goat to Africa can have.
  • That a Lenten Campaign like Bóthar na nGabhar should create positive images of third world development and African culture.
    2. Educational
  • That the younger child's concept of distance and place may be developed.
  • That the children learn about African culture and develop a curiosity about cultures that are different to their own. This is especially relevant to our school as we have many children who have travelled from all over the world and are now living in Ennis.
  • That the children learn about farm animals and appreciate the environmental significance of sending a goat to Africa.
  • That the children enjoy writing and reporting about Saoirse.
  • That the children's reading and writing skills may be enhanced during the project. 3.Information and Communication Technology
  • That e-mail would be used to communicate with the Bóthar organisation.
  • Research and information concerning the project may be carried out on the Internet. http://www.bothar.ie
  • Children would use a word processor (MS Word) to present their stories. Clipart and MS Paint may be used to enhance presentation and encourage individuality.
  • Children may use the digital camera to take photos of the farm visit and to photograph their own special goat Saoirse.

    Project Outline: As an alternative to the annual Trocaire Lenten Campaign Collection, our school decided to participate in the Bóthar na nGabhar Project. During the forty days of Lent the children collected over £250 and thus our school was able to adopt a goat, which we called Saoirse. With the help of Bóthar we sent this goat to live with a family in Tanzania. When this goat has a kid it will be donated to a neighbouring family. Thus many families should benefit from the project.

    Display: Accounts and photos of the school trip to the goat farm are available in chart form and on the school web site. Microsoft Word and clipart were used to present the work. Some of the photos were taken with the digital camera.

    Prerequisite learning
  • Background work on Africa's culture, climate and people was necessary.
  • Organisation plan for fundraising in the school needed to be developed by teachers.
  • The teachers involved required skills in using the digital camera, searching the web, sending e-mails and using MS Word.
    Prerequisite resources
  • Teacher time to co-ordinate fundraising and to communicate with the Bóthar organisation was essential.
  • A map of the world/globe
  • Library books about Africa and Tanzania
  • Internet/e-mail access
  • A Digital camera
  • A computer
  • Microsoft Word

    Management of the Project:
    Work in the classroom
    1. Fundraising to purchase the goat
    2. Research on Africa-library books and Internet - Geography,Culture,People,Problems
    3. Study of farm animals
    4. Drafting and editing of stories
    5. Design of final presentations including photos and graphics

    Organisation of the class
  • The children worked in pairs to draft, edit and present their work. In certain cases a weaker child was paired with a more able child.
  • The class teacher reviewed each child's work to ensure accuracy and to encourage and direct the children.

    Presentation of the work
  • The children's accounts of Saoirse were written in Microsoft Word.
  • They used graphics and digital camera photos to illustrate their work.
  • Page design and layout were developed by the children themselves, thus ensuring unique and individually finished products.

    Time Scale: The project ran from February '99 -June '99

    Support: The ICT Teacher assisted the class teacher with any technical difficulties.

    Training: The children and their teacher learned simultaneously how to use the digital camera and Microsoft Word. They were supported by the ICT Teacher.

    Evaluation: We feel that our social and ICT objectives were well achieved. Because of time limitations a few learning opportunities, which the project presented us with, were neglected. We have great plans for expansion of the project next year. We hope to maximise on these learning opportunities by beginning earlier in the school year. The children in our school (aged four to seven years) responded well to the ideas behind the project and understood it. Hence we feel that there are many more integrated learning experiences which could be explored.
Holy Family Junior School
SIP 058
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