Inspired by a Panda

Inspired by a Panda or Two 

by Pr 5 Middleton Park School, Aberdeen

When we heard we were getting a ‘Beyond the Panda’ workshop we were very excited. Sandie Robb, from Edinburgh Zoo, gave us lots of interesting details about the pandas. She told us about how they survive, what they eat and how their habitat is being lost. We were put into groups to learn about the Giant Pandas. We saw how the skull moves and how they can eat bamboo even although they have no thumbs. At the end of the session  we learnt that bamboo is even stronger than steel!

At the same time we were involved in doing a huge project about China and we were set homework challenges so we decided to take photographic and video evidence of our various tasks. One of the themes was comparing our culture and customs with that of China and since it was close to Robert Burns birthday we included some songs, music and Scottish dancing into our film.

We were extremely lucky to have weekly lessons with Ellen who teaches us Mandarin because this meant that we could also incorporate some of what we had learned into our work. A visit from Dr Meryl James gave us more inspiration as we listened to her tell us about the language, culture and customs of China.

When we heard about the competition, we decided to clip together all our photos and video footage into a short film. Next came the wait hear the results!

Mrs Watson, out Head Teacher, arrived in our area and told us to listen very carefully—the excitement was building by the second! She announced that we were joint winners in the competition and a huge cheer went up. Next stop Edinburgh.

When we arrived at the zoo, we were met at the entrance and we made our way to the Panda enclosure. We were amazed at how close they were. Tian Tian (female) was sound asleep but Yang Guan (male) was having a great time guzzling down handfuls of bamboo. Afterwards, Ping, from The Confucius Institute Headquarters (Hanban) presented us with a toy panda in Chinese dress and a calendar with origami cut-outs of horses for the Year of the Horse.

Maia and Elliott were interviewed by STV News who asked them what they enjoyed most about the project. They also had to speak some Mandarin  e.g. How are you, thank you and panda. They proudly watches themselves on television later that evening.

Zoe, Amy and Adam were asked to make an iMovie on an IPad because we had taken photographs and videos at Edinburgh Zoo.

First we planned the start and the end then we began to clip the photographs and videos together and add music and titles to the photos and videos. After that we did voice-overs and got the whole class to introduce it at the start of the video. We completed it with sound effects and finally the video was uploaded to Vimeo and the hope was that many people would view and enjoy it.