Thursday, March 12, 2009

Queenstown Primary - The Big Picture

As part of Queenstown Primary's amazing commitment to Enviroschools this year they are keeping me very busy. I've very kindly been asked to visit pretty much every class in school and use the 'Big Picture' from the kit to help explain Sustainability to the students and teachers. This activity is proving to be absolutely fantastic .

I've adapted this activity to work across lots of different age levels. With the middles and the senior I start the 45 minute session with a brainstorm session about the words 'Sustainable' and 'Sustainability'.

I've found that at the begining of the sessions about half the class have heard these words but aside form a few very switched on students most are a little unsure as to what it actually means. It is such a hard word to really get your head around so it's no surprise is it?

We spend about 20 minutes to half an hour figuring it out between ourselves. After an overall chat I split the discussion into different topics;
  • Waste
  • Water
  • Transport
  • Energy
  • Leisure
We then split into five groups. Each group is given a topic and they need to have a look through the picture and find elements of their topic. they wrtie dow nwhat they find and in the final 7 minutes or so each group presents what they've fonud to the rest of the class. By the end these guys really do have a great understanding of 'Sustianable' & 'Sustainability'.

With the juniors it's a little different. After a quick experiment with the first class I decided we were looking for different things. So our new topics are;
  • Food
  • Transport
  • Hobbies
  • Water
Again the split into groups and they draw or write what they find. Spelling doesn't matter at all. It's the concept that is important. You see them really looking into the picture and from what a couple of the teachers tell me they have had some awesome discussions afterwards and the children are already starting to talk about what activities they'd like to be involved in.

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