Sunday, August 31, 2008

“Litterbug” takes on a new meaning

- Ailsa Tudhope -

The Grade Four English Home language class at Hoërskool Zwartberg were enthusiastic participants in the litter clean-up campaign held last term. The event coincided with their starting a chapter in their language books about the Wombles, the dangers of pollution and our responsibility for caring for the Earth. One of the activities was to write a description of a Litterbug. When we started chatting about it I was astounded to find that their definition of a litterbug wasn’t someone who drops sweet wrappers but a creature that goes out to clean up litter. Now, there might be those who think I am an irresponsible language teacher who should have taught them the proper definition, but I believe their take on the whole business is marvellous, so they gaily set about drawing and describing their brand of the bug.

This term we invited Imke Maeyer and Ellen Joubert, organisers of the clean-up and recycling projects in Prince Albert, to visit the classroom to see their litterbug pictures and hear them read their descriptions. Imke and Ellen thoroughly enjoyed themselves and were able to provide our young anti-litter campaigners with an update on the recycling project, encouraging them to spread the word and get others involved.

Here are some extracts from their litterbug descriptions:
Louis van der Nests’ litterbug is Nosy: “…he sucks the litter through his nose, his wings are lights so in the night he can put his lights on to see in the dark.” Thomas Gous’ Pinky “…lives under tables and eats every type of litter.” Greeny, created by Germari Steyn, …eats rubbish like paper, bottles and plastic.” Lisa Esterhuizen’s Kinkerdew “…sucks up oil from the sea and gives it to farmers to use in their tractors.” Marjohandi Fourie’s Linky “…picks up rubbish,” and Andrew Steyn’s Taily “… sucks all the pollution up his tail.”

They all listed a hint to help us stop polluting: Use a car that works on bio-diesel, pick up rubbish left in the road, tell the government to make littering illegal, do not throw litter around and recycle everything that can be recycled. Let’s follow their advice and make them as proud of us as I am of them.

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