Not just for Senior Phase!
Karen Hamman teaches at St Mary’s Primary School in Retreat. She used information on indigenous healing plants (see Module Seven: Nature and Culture) to develop a Grade Six History lesson based on the Knowledge Focus: History of Medicine.
Karen divided the class into small groups. She gave each group a page of information on a medicinal plant. (A useful resource to support this activity is the handbook Indigenous healing plants of the Herb and Fragrance Gardens by Alex Dyson, which is available from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. You could also use the information in Module Seven and search the Internet for information on healing plants.)
Karen asked each group to read their page of information and find out:
What is the name of the plant?
What does the plant look like? (draw it)
How did the indigenous people of the Cape originally use the plant?
Do people still use the plant today?
Each group produced a poster on their plant and shared their findings with the rest of the class.
The class then brainstormed a list of questions they wanted to ask about healing plants. They recorded these questions in their note books. For homework, they found someone at home or in the community to interview about healing plants.
Learners found out that herbs can be used to treat a very wide range of illnesses but that they can also be dangerous if they are taken incorrectly. They realised that, just like modern medicines, traditional medicines
should be taken under supervision of an experienced healer.
This lesson addresses Learning Outcomes 1 & 2 in Social Sciences (History). It could be integrated with Home Language (LO 2, 3 & 4) and Arts & Culture (LO 1, 3 & 4).