AN ECOCRITIC APPROACH THROUGH POETRY APPRECIATION TO IMPROVE ENVIRONMENTAL AWARENESS

Improving environmental awareness becomes a serious demand to be educated to any level of educations due to the severe environmental degradations in our planet. It cannot be denied that the damage of our environment has threatened human-beings and other creatures’ lives. One of the severe environmental damage occurs at the sea coasts caused by plastic rubbishes thrown by human-beings. Plastic bags, cups, plates, spoons, forks, fishing nets, and other plastic industrial wastes lead to ill effects to the marine wildlife. It is estimated that around 8 million tonnes of plastic waste enters our oceans every year, and by 2050, at this rate there will be more plastic than fish in the water bodies across the world (https://www.marineinsight.com/environment/11-threats-to-marine-environment-you-must-know/).

Nevertheless, our planet is created based on the natural equilibrium ecosystem.  The Seagulls, as one of the seabirds, functions to clean the sea coast from the leftover rubbish. By eating those leftover, at least they reduce the marine pollution. In other words, the Seagulls have to protected. It is our obligation to protect the Seagulls form the danger of plastic waste.  This can be presented by at least by appreciating the Seagulls through the poetry on Seagulls.

The implementation of the education on the environmental awareness can be carried out through literary appreciation in the community service activity as one of the obligations of the Tri Dharma Perguruan Tinggi.  The literary appreciation refers to poem reading and its translation. By so doing, the idea of presenting high gratitude to the Seagulls can be fulfilled as poetry increases not only the language, but also the affective competences as well as the imaginative stimulation. A short poem entitled “Seagulls” by Kate Coombs.

This short imaginative descriptive poem activates those three competences, especially the affective and imaginative capabilities. Consequently, this artistic, affective, and descriptive, as well as fun poem directs to the awareness of the importance to maintain the equilibrium environmental ecosystem by small thing, such as appreciating the existence of Seagulls at the sea coasts.

This is the poem:

Seagulls remind me of the beagles-

All that they think is of food.

Yet the seagulls can soar through the sky

The minute they get in the mood.

And when the seagulls take wing,

they become a new thing,

attaining some dignity.

But beagles are round

And remain on the ground,

Pretty much dignity free. (by: Kate Coombs)

 

Based on the above phenomena, the community service activities were planned to be executed at the Jampang English Village, Tanggerang Selatan, by 5 lecturers and 5 students from The English Department – Faculty of Letters, University of Pamulang.   Because of the pandemic of COVID 19, the physical community service has been transferred into an on-line learning material. The transformation needed special preparation, coordination, and management, especially the mastery of the on-line making material on its content and techniques.

The concept of the content of the  transformation was coordinated by Wiwit Sariasih, SPd, MPd and assisted by Ni Komang S.Sos,M.Hum, Hilma Safitri, SS,M.Hum, Geni Kurniati,SS,M.Hum, and Dr.Indrani Dewi Anggraini H.Hum, while the technical process was accomplished by the students, namely Munasrudin, as the captain, Ila Jazila, Rizki Zulkarnain, Tiana Aulia, and Yulis Radiansari as the members. The content of the on-line teaching material was initiated exactly based on the plan. Hilma Safitri SS,MHum, Geni Kurniati SS, M.Hum, and Dr. Indrani Dewi Anggraini M.Hum proposed the poem, its reading method, and theme interpretation. Wiwit Sariasih dealt witht the translation matters, while Ni Komang S.S, M.Hum inspired the clip video system, where each student who was reading the line of the poem was shot like the mosaic form.

The technical process was started by selecting a setting representing the sea coastal.  The shooting process was begun to the student reading every two lines of the poem with their Indonesian translation in turns.  After the shooting accomplished, the process of inserting the visual and musical background relevant to natural life of the Seagulls and the problem of the maritime environmental damage. The visual backgrounds refer to some pictures of some polluted sea coasts in some parts of Indonesia to give the awareness of the danger on the plastic waste to the sea and its coasts.

Contrast to this, pictures of Seagulls are demonstrated as well to create appreciation to the Seagulls. The musical and sound tracks of the scream sounds of the Seagulls and the splash of the waves stimulate the imagery and imagination of the Seagulls represented in the poem. The final phase was the editing process in which all aspects of the video on-line teaching materials were rearranged and improved to last and final product.

The pedagogical usage of this final on-line teaching material can be applicable for the young learners, elementary, secondary, and university level. For the young learners, this on-line learning material can be used by showing the video with the picture of the Seagulls and develop it by introducing some simple five Indonesian words related to the  coastal objects, such as “ Seagulls”  “beach”, ”sand”, “ocean” and  “leftover” by showing them through flash cards. The mastery of those Indonesian words, then the English words are introduced gradually. Those cognitive competence is proceeded by the affective and psycho-motoric capabilities by admiring the flying seagulls and imitating the movement of the flying Seagulls. The ending of this session is suggested by colouring the picture of the Seagulls.

The elementary students could watch whole the video then followed by assessing the comprehension of the “Seagulls” poem. The comprehension is developed by group discussion to retell or paraphrase the poem orally. Each member of the group mention hie/her understanding on the “Seagulls” then the rest of the groups write what are said by the other member of the group.  The last activity is carried out through the peer reviewing on the result of the students’ rewriting their comprehension of “Seagulls” that has been stick on the class’ wall where the students enable to read their other friends’ work in turn. The educational competencies reflected by these activities are language cognitive through the poem comprehension, affective skills through the team work represented in the group cooperative work, while the psycho-motoric competency is proven by the movement of the students’ reviewing their friends’ rewritten “Seagulls”.

The secondary students are challenged by this learning video via some activities such as watching, discussion, creating, and presentation. Watching the video leads the students to discuss in group the correlation “The Seagulls” and the maritime pollutions caused by the plastic wastes. The discussion is proceeded by the recreating their own poem on Seagulls in different expressions.  This recreated poem is presented, while the other students give their appreciation in the written form. The poem and its appreciation are displayed on the mending wall of the school. The language used for the junior students is optional between Indonesian or English. However, for the senior high school students, the language is English. Based on the taxonomy Bloom’s perspective the mentioned activities cover the Low Order Thinking Skills reflected through the memorizing, analysing, and applying then completed by High Order Thinking Skills by evaluating and creating the poem by their own expression and style.

The learning video designed by our PkM group for improving the environmental awareness through poem appreciation is applicable to the university students, especially from the English Department for main curriculum or extra curriculum activity. The first one can be applied by examining the video and followed by interpreting and creating new poem from the “The Seagulls” in group. For more advanced result, the recreated poem is enabled to be transferred into a song lyric.  The language used for this level is obliged in English. This learning process conveys multidisciplinary and HOTS, High Order Thinking Skills.  Apart from these advantages, the students are also encouraged to produce a video musical poetry on the environmental