The Samoa islands are a beautiful tropical paradise located in the South Pacific Ocean. The islands are rich in culture, history, legend, and known for its beautiful landscape and climate. One of the most legendary parts of Samoan culture is the tatau or tattoos represent the spiritual and cultural heritage of the islands.
The main purpose of this activity is for students to generalize that animals need a home. Homes are not just houses. A house may be considered shelter. People build houses, apartments, trailers, houseboats, and other kinds of shelter in which to live. Animals also need some kind of shelter. The shelter might be underground, in a bush, in the bark of a tree, or under some rocks.
Trees are wonderful, beautiful organisms which comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, smells, and textures. Tropical rainforest contain the greatest diversity of plants in the world, meaning many species of plants grow in a small area. New terms would be introduced, “natural resources” and “renewable resources” Students will view images from slide presentation to help simplify the differences between the two new terms introduced.
Coral reefs are certainly one of our planet’s greatest natural attractions. During this activity, students will understand the three main environmental factors that corals need to survive and thrive on. Students will appreciate how fortunate we are in American Samoa to have all three important environmental factors in order for corals to survive. They will also learn how vitally important corals are, and what they need to do to protect these resources.
Most animals can be grouped by what and how many kinds of foods they eat. Animals that eat many different things are called generalists, while those that eat only one or a few foods are called specialists. True specialization is often a two-way dependency: an animal depends on a plant for food, and the plant depends on that animal to help it disperse its seeds. On remote islands like American Samoa, there are limited food supplies, and cyclones can cause serious shortages of food.
Samoans have used plants and trees for about 3,000 years. Before Europeans discovered our islands, our ancestors depended on our tropical rainforest to sustain life, whether it would be for clothing, food or medicine. Samoans realized the importance of these resources. While these practices are still vibrant today, our younger generations are slowly losing the knowledge and understanding about the significance of native plants and trees and how our people use them for medicinal purposes.
Coral reefs provide a variety of habitats, each with its own set of characteristic species. Each species of coral comes in different shapes and forms. Activities implemented will give students an understanding of how coral reefs are formed. Starting from a single “polyp”, to a coral with skeleton attached, finally to a coral reef. Students will identify three different types of corals most commonly found in American Samoa and understand their growth by applying hands on activities.
Most of the natural vegetation of American Samoa fits into the category of tropical rainforest. Tropical rainforests are found throughout the world in areas of warm climates and sufficient to plentiful year-round rainfall. The Samoan tropical rainforest originally extended from just inland of the shore up to the summits of the highest mountains, except on those peaks where soil factors or weather factors have created scrubby vegetation in which life forms other than tall trees are predominant.
The giving and receiving of ‘ie tōga (fine mats) is an integral part of Fa’a Samoa (Samoan Way). These fine mats are used for special occasions such as weddings, funerals, and the bestowing of chiefly titles. Fine mats have been passed down from generation to generation. These fine mats are as enduring as our Samoan culture.
The history of life on islands is a story of invasions. Ever since the high islands of American Samoa rose out of the sea as barren piles of volcanic rock, living things have been making the long and dangerous journey across the Pacific to reach this new land. Until a few thousand years ago, every plant, insect, and bird that lived on our islands was the descendant of a lucky adventurer that had crossed hundreds or thousands of miles of open ocean to establish a new colony here.