Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Resource of the Week - Environmentalism - in a World of Their Own: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Resource of the Week - Environmentalism - in a World of Their Own: Resources

Article excerpt

An animated film uses children's work to explore climate change.

How many planets does it take to make the world go round? Put this question to your students - or your colleagues - and the response is likely to be baffled looks. But if everyone used the Earth's resources at the same rate as people in Britain and the US, we would need not one planet to live on, but three.

This rate of consumption, according to wildlife charity WWF, means that we are spoiling some of the world's richest forests, are close to overfishing many of our seas and are driving some species perilously close to extinction. Many climate scientists agree that if we continue to live in this way, and allow global temperatures to rise by more than 2 degsC, the damage to the Earth's fragile ecosystems may be irreversible.

But how can we convey these facts to children without giving them nightmares? And how can we provide an environmental education that teaches children that nature and people are inextricably linked?

You could start with One Planet Future, a short film produced by Green.TV and WWF, in which drawings and narration by schoolchildren are brought together by sound and animation experts (bit.ly/OnePlanetFuture). It explores the "crazy business" of how rapidly we are devouring the world's resources.

Brightly coloured elephants, monkeys and tigers dance across the screen, while youthful voices tell us that there was once a time "when the world was innocent", when animals of every kind roamed freely. But then darkness fell over the Earth. Animals were hunted; the planet was transformed and polluted by roads and humans.

The film inspires children because it is made by children. It asks them to consider what could be done to improve the way we use our natural resources. WWF and Green.TV believe that it is a useful first step towards helping a generation to realise the damage we are doing to our planet and to think about ways to change.

Ask your students to come up with ways to teach people how all living things are connected and are dependent on each other for survival.

10 LESSON PLANS

Eco Week, 14-21 June, UK

1. Bee hotel

How far do fruit and vegetables travel to reach us? Why are bees important to humans? How is a bee hotel made? Find out with these ideas for lessons that celebrate Eco Week.

2. Mud stoves

In this engaging activity, set students the task of designing their own energy-saving mud stoves, similar to ones that are used in Africa.

3. Eco-friendly classrooms

Bring the community together to create an eco-friendly classroom, with the help of this video from Teachers TV.

4. Mining

How does mining affect the environment? Students investigate its impact by taking on the role of an environmental campaigner or a mining company boss.

5. Save the planet in French

Learn the French words for global warming, endangered species and air pollution, and inspire students to practise their linguistic skills as they help to save the planet.

6. Icebergs

Explore the topic of icebergs and their importance to the environment using this Widgit Symbols worksheet.

7. Eco-friendly packaging

Send your class on a trip to the supermarket, either as homework or in school time, to research eco-friendly, sustainable and recyclable packaging.

8. Planet Spanish

Using this illustrated PowerPoint, teach students about environment issues such as rubbish dumps and oil spillages - in Spanish.

9. Caring for the environment

How do children around the world care for the environment? What do your students do to look after their local area? Help them to turn their ideas into actions.

10. The only planet we've got

Prompt a classroom debate on eco-living and environmental sustainability using a poem that explores the way we treat our planet. …

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