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"Vanda Miss Joaquim" • MOE Kindergartens



Have you introduced your children to Vanda Miss Joaquim, our National Flower? What about other national icons and landmarks in Singapore?

Find out in this lesson idea how you can do this using the Singapore coins (Third Series) while helping them hone their observation skills and talking about what it means to be Singaporean. Children will have opportunities to explore TWO learning areas through an integrated approach in this learning experience.

Learning Areas

Learning Goals

Discovery of the World (DOW)

LG1: Show an interest in the world they live in

LG2: Find out why things happen and how things work through simple investigations

Social and Emotional Development (SED)

LG1: Develop an awareness of personal identity

Refer to the Nurturing Early Learners (NEL) Framework, pp. 65 – 107, for more information on the learning areas and learning goals. 

#1 Honing their observation skills

Help your children hone their observation skills by looking at a subject in detail. Use prompts and questions to guide them as they talk about their observations. 


1. Pass a few stalks of the Vanda Miss Joaquim or other types of orchids for the children to look at, smell, touch and feel. Using           guiding questions, encourage them to talk about what they see, smell and feel.

   Examples of guiding questions :

    • What do you see/smell?
    • How many petals are there?
    • What is the colour of the petals?
    • How do the petals feel?

2. Introduce the Singapore coins (Third Series). Have the children look at the $1 coin and have them talk about what they see in         relation to their earlier observations.

   Examples of guiding questions :

    • What do you see on the $1 coin? (refer to the side with 1 Dollar on it) Does it look like the flower we looked at earlier?
    • What type of flower do you think it is?
    • Why do you think it is featured on the $1 coin?

Use this opportunity to introduce the Vanda Miss Joaquim which was chosen as Singapore’s National Flower in 1981 to foster national pride and identity. It is named after Miss Agnes Joaquim, the horticulturist who bred it. Refer to the National Parks’ website @ www.nparks.gov.sg for more information on the Vanda Miss Joaquim.

3. Provide children with coins of different denominations and magnifying glass. Have them use the magnifying glass to examine          the coins and look for icons/landmarks on them. Refer to Annex A for notes on how to use the magnifying glass.

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Using the magnifying glass to examine the Singapore coins (Third Series)

#2 Talking about their personal experiences

Encourage your children to share their personal experiences in relation to their observations to make their learning more authentic and meaningful.



1. Display photographs of the icons and landmarks featured on the coins (refer to Annex B for examples of photographs). Have the children match the photographs of the icons/landmarks to the images on the coins.

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Matching photographs of icons/landmarks to images on the coins based on their observations


2.    Invite children to share their personal experiences and talk about the icons/landmarks in Singapore.

       Examples of guiding questions :

    • What else do you see on the $1 coin?
    • Where can the Merlion be found?
    • Have you seen the Merlion before? How does it look like?

#3 Talking about what they know and feel about Singapore

Help your children to be aware of their personal identity as a Singaporean. Invite them to talk about what they know and feel about Singapore.

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Talking about what they know and how they feel about Singapore 

Examples of guiding questions:

    • What would you tell your friend in another country about Singapore?
    • What do you like about Singapore?
    • How do you feel about Singapore?

Annex A: Notes for Teachers on how to use a magnifying glass

1. Demonstrate how to hold the magnifying glass about 12 cm to 15 cm away from the face.


2. Adjust the magnifying glass to a position such that the image is sufficiently magnified and not blurred.


3. Remind the children not to hold it too near the target object as the image will not be magnified or hold it too near the face as        the image will be blurred.

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Annex B: Singapore coins (3rd series) and National Icons and Landmarks in Singapore

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The Merlion

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 PSA Tanjong Pagar Terminal
( PSA Singapore)
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The Changi Airport
Control Tower 
 Screen Shot 2018-07-05 at 4.34.14 PM.png Our HDB Heartlands

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The Esplanade