These lesson ideas are examples of how they can be used to help teaching and learning. They are offered for guidance only. Teachers can develop them to meet the needs of the curriculum and the resources available in their local area.
A. Every Little Bit Helps
Pupils use a checklist to consider the actions that individuals can take to help the environment. They then go on to consider the implications of these actions for industry and the economy.
- A visitor from a local supermarket, the local council or a political party.
- A copy of the following checklist for each pair of students.
|Take glass bottles and jars to bottle bank?
|Save old newspapers and magazines and take them to paper bank?
|Use your own shopping bag?
|Give old clothes and unwanted gifts to charity shops?
|Use paper on both sides?
|Collect waste packaging material for art work in class?
|Save aluminium cans for recycling?
|Save your plastic containers for recycling?
|Have a compost heap in your garden?
|Use recycled paper?
|Save old packaging for junk toys which young children can play with?
|Read the labels of goods to see if they use recycled materials?
|Shop carefully and only buy what you need?
|Re-use video and sound tapes?
Ask them individually to consider each statement in turn and to tick the appropriate box:
– things they always do;
– things they sometimes do;
– things they never do.
They can discuss their responses in their pairs.
Put two pairs together to make groups of four. Ask groups to choose two items from thenever category, and discuss why they do not do these things.
Ask students to think of two additions to the list – i.e. two extra things that people could do to help the environment.
Invite one of the following visitors to the class:
- A manager of a local supermarket;
- A local council waste manager;
- A member of a political party.
Ask the visitor to comment on each statement, giving more information about:
a) What the visitor’s organisation is doing about the statement;
b) What the cost implications of each action are likely to be. Encourage students to ask the visitor questions.
Ask each original pair of pupils to choose one statement and brainstorm the implications of the course of action chosen for:
a) The environment;
Each pair could then present its conclusions to the other members of the class who could add their ideas.
Alternatively, pupils could be asked to research the implications of particular courses of action and report back at a later date.
Put pupils into new groups of four to discuss the following questions:
- Why do people often not behave in a way that helps the environment?
- How can they be persuaded to change?
- What effects on jobs and the economy can environment-friendly behaviour have?
Headteachers and Governing Bodies can help by:
Identifying an individual or group of people to champion environmental education in the school;
Providing an opportunity to discuss environmental education and waste management in staff meetings and governing body meetings;
Encouraging whole school activities that have a recycling focus;.
Promoting the school’s approach to its own environment including:
- Promoting care of school buildings and grounds;
- Promoting energy efficiency;
- Promoting recycling;
- Promoting conservation,
- Developing a purchasing policy.
Participating in recycling and waste management award schemes;
Supporting links with the local community, such as local community projects with Groundwork Community Volunteers.
Environmental Education Coordinators or working group can help by:
1. Finding out what is the current level of education about recycling in school. Questions might include:
- How does the school currently encourage education about recycling?
- What does each curriculum area contribute to education about recycling?
- How is education about recycling managed and coordinated?
- To what extent is recycling in the school used as a context for learning?
- How does the school monitor its use of resources?
- To what extent is there consistency between what is taught and practiced?
2. Creating a policy on recycling either as a freestanding document or part of a wider curriculum statement on the environment. The policy may specify:
- The aims, value and purpose of education about recycling;
- The nature of pupil’s entitlement;
- The way education about recycling is managed, implemented and evaluated;
- The nature and extent of external links;
- The way in which the school manages itself in a sustainable manner.
3. Adopting a wide range of approaches to implementing education about recycling. This will include:
- Promoting support for the programme;
- Clarifying relationships with other areas of the curriculum;
- Clarifying staff roles and responsibilities;
- Securing physical and financial resources for implementation
- Identifying staff development needs and organizing training;
- Assisting teachers in preparing schemes of work, developing materials and managing resources;
- Working with teachers to develop links, to avoid undue overlap and plan for progression;
- Contacting and working with national and local bodies that can support education about recycling.
4. Gathering, analysing and interpreting evidence to monitor and evaluate the quality of provision and its impact on pupils knowledge, understanding and commitment to recycling. Schools may wish to know the answers to a number of questions
- What have pupils gained from particular activities?
- has the programme affected pupil’s attitudes to recycling resources?
- Do all pupils have access to education about recycling?
- Is the school making the best use of time and other resources?
- How well do pupils use and recycle resources provided in the school?