How to Cultivate Environmental Awareness at Schools
How much do children know about environmental protection?
One of the most recent studies has interviewed secondary school students and identified that only 26% of the respondents had high environmental awareness. Most students know bits and pieces on this topic but often can’t put this knowledge to use.
So, the natural conclusion is to start cultivating environmental protection skills at schools as early as possible.
We’ve prepared some helpful tips and ideas you can take up your sleeve to boost environmental awareness among your students.
1. Focus on Practical Skills Right Away
Some schools add a few theoretical classes on environmental protection to the curriculum per year, but it’s not enough to form the skill set students need to actually apply this knowledge. Students need to be introduced to this topic consistently to be able to use them.
Apart from that, it’s important to plan the classes in a way that would introduce students both to the theoretical and practical parts.
For example, you can start by showing a video where a narrator explains the process of segregating trash and which type of waste goes to which bin to give students a visual representation of the process. Here’s a good video by MMSB you can use:
After watching this video, offer your students to complete a set of exercises to solidify their knowledge. It’s also a good idea to have students use an app with a recycling game to practice their skills. Here’s a good option below:
Lastly, if you want to tell students more about the role of the trees and plants in environmental protection, you can do it outside while planting a school garden together. Such an approach promotes tactile or kinesthetic learning, which forms practical skills faster.
2. Involve the Topic of Environmental Awareness in Other Classes
The more overarching your approach to teaching the topic of environmental protection is, the faster your students will be able to use it in real life. That’s why it is important to implement the topic of environmental awareness in other non-related classes.
For example, you can adjust the curriculum of the Spanish learning lessons to teach students the essential vocabulary used in recycling, environmental studies, etc. You can also touch upon the topics of climate change, fossil fuels, and clean energy. Such an approach will help students solidify their knowledge and skills gained during other environmental awareness classes earlier.
Another great idea is to unite the topic of ecology and chemistry. For example, let’s say you’re currently working on the topic of acids. First, you can show students a video about acid rains and why they happen. Here’s a good example you can use:
Next, you can do some experiments in the laboratory to replicate the effects of acid rains. This way, students understand the effects of burning fossil fuels on the environment better.
Other disciplines you can combine with environmental protection include physics, biology, and even economics to show the effects of climate change on the world economy.
3. Supply Your Classroom with Objects Promoting Environmental Awareness
Also, as an additional measure, you can organize your classroom in a way that would make your students more environmentally conscious. The most common way is to hang a notice near the entrance to remind them to switch off the light if there’s no one left in the classroom.
Here are some more classroom organization ideas to promote environmental awareness:
- Try to go paperless. Use gadgets as much as possible during your classes to cut down the use of paper. This might be hard to do right away, so try to implement this step gradually.
- Use LED lights. They are more energy-efficient, last longer, and offer better quality.
- Supply the classroom with recycling bins. Also, consider it a way for your students to practice their recycling skills.
- Add indoor plants. Plants that will be perfect for a classroom include bamboo, succulents, cacti, snake plants, aloe vera, and even palms. You can make students responsible for taking care of this little garden, just make sure to control what they are doing if their gardening skills are not as advanced yet.
It’s also possible to plant a little garden in the schoolyard, but make sure you have permission from the administration. After all, it’s an ongoing activity that often involves many people and resources.
Over to You
As you can see, teaching students environmental awareness is not a one-time action but requires a systematic approach. The more students practice their knowledge, the better.
Let’s recap all the tips we’ve covered in our article:
- Focus on practical skills right away – let students play games to practice skills right after introducing them to theoretical information.
- Cover the topic of environmental protection during other classes – it can be physics, chemistry, foreign language classes, geography, etc.
- Make your classroom more environmentally friendly – try to go paperless, use LED lights, buy recycling bins, and add indoor plants.
Hopefully, our recommendations will help you educate your students about environmental protection more efficiently.