Environmental education should be considered one of the desiderates of school curricula from all over the world. It connects students and teachers as well to nature, it raises awareness of problems impacting the environment and it also helps us to discover ways to improve, save and protect our planet.
Teachers can bring nature into the classroom, can take students outside to learn, or even find teachable moments during any class.
There are numerous benefits that environmental education brings: imagination and enthusiasm are heightened, critical and creative thinking skills are enhanced, tolerance and understanding are supported, healthy lifestyles are encouraged, responsible action is taken to better the environment, and many more.
During my English classes, I try to develop as much as I can other competencies besides those related to communication in English. Therefore, I often tackle topics that affect our lives daily which will not only improve their receptive and productive skills in English but also impact their lifestyle.
An example of such an activity is the following:
Subject: BE GREEN!
Type of activity: curricular (English), extra-curricular (global education, education for global citizenship, development of life skills)
Targeted life skills: critical thinking, communication skills in English, the ability to make connections using one's own experience
Target group: 5th grade
Objective: to develop critical thinking and communication skills in English, encouraging students to make connections using their own experience on topics related to environmental education.
Human: coordinating and facilitating teacher: LaviniaMuresan, 5th-grade students
Materials: blackboard or flipchart, flipchart sheets, English notebooks, video projector, laptop, questionnaires, green clothes;
Time: 45-50 minutes (class time).
Arrangement of the room: front, groups
1. The activity opens starting from the color of their clothes: green - green. (They were previously asked to come to school dressed in green clothes).
2. Students are asked to give examples, to explain, to find expressions, associations, and uses of the word GREEN. The teacher completes with information, explanations, and other examples
3. They watch a video on youtube about the non-governmental organization Greenpeace - general information, images, slideshows
4. Students will complete the questionnaire "How green are you?". The teacher collects the data and calculates the "green" percentage of the class.
5. Students, divided into groups, will play green games on the computer/online.
Assessment: oral discussions regarding their scores
Extension: The magic “Rs”: Reuse- Recycle- Reduce- oral discussion