Thursday, June 3, 2010

World Environment Day – June 5th, 2010

This is a great opportunity for me to mention a couple of resources that tie in with the environment and how interconnected things are.  Getting kids to do their part to conserve (recycling) and preserve (turn the tap off while brushing your teeth) the Earth is one thing, but do they really know why they do these things? Part of the challenge of getting kids to buy into why they should care about the planet is that some have very little to do with the great outdoors (see Last child in the woods (155.4 LOL 2008)).  It’s possible the next couple of resources will provide a little more substance for addressing the ‘why’.

First is Suzuki speaks (304.2 SuZ 2003 DVD).  This documentary film gives us insight into where Canadian scientist and environmentalist, David Suzuki gets his passion for the natural world.  By looking at the world within the framework of the Northwest Coast First Nations (humans, as with all living things, consist of four scared elements; earth, air, water and fire) he realized,

 “…we’ve framed the environmental problem the wrong way. There’s no environment "out there" for us to interact with. We are the environment, because we are the Earth. For me, that began a whole shift in the way that I looked at the issues that confront us and the way we live on this planet.”

This is a fascinating journey with stunning computer graphics and visual effects, moving us through the four elements, linking us and all things over time and space.  Who wouldn’t be tickled to know that the air we breathe today is the same air inhaled by the dinosaurs?  Cool, eh? Watch to find out how scientists figured this out.

The next resource, When a butterfly sneezes: a guide for helping kids explore interconnections in our world through favorite stories (003 SwW 2001) is taken from the idea that a butterfly sneeze can change the weather thousands of miles away.  Stories such as If you give a mouse a cookie, The cat in the hat comes back, Zoom, A river ran wild, Tree of life plus seven more, looks at cause-and-effect relationships, unintended consequences of actions, perspectives based on assumptions and other elements of systems thinking which allow children (and adults) to find patterns in the world and see important interrelationships.

Take A river ran wild by Lynne Cherry a true story about the Nashua River and the impact of industrial development on the river and First Nations people.  This real-life example allows kids to look at how rivers are used and sometimes abused and to prevent the degradation of this natural resource.

To know more about World Environment Day go to the United Nations Environmental Programme website, WED2010.


Template Design | Elque 2007