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The Giving Back to Nature Challenge

Didactic starting position
Characteristics of the students:

Foreknowledge: many children may have been in contact with lessons about trees, our nature, the forest and other subjects to his manner. Students from every age know about trees and the forest so most of them know how a tree ‘works’.

Cognitive skills: For most students, it’s easier to learn the theory by teaching the lesson in a creative and interactive way. In that way, the students can reflect the theory to their day-to-day life. That’s what we’re doing with this lesson plan. We want to let the students really understand the ‘theory’ by thinking about it in a new and creative way.

Lesson goals

1. Learning about the trees/forest by watching the movie(cognitive reproduction)
2. Thinking about what nature gives us (cognitive production)
3. Thinking about how people can give back to nature (affective dynamic)
4. Gaining creative skills in expressing thoughts (affective dynamic)
5. Working together as a group to achieve something (affective dynamic)
The lesson
1 The giving back to nature challenge
This challenge is designed to be an interactive activity to help the participants experience a new awareness for social responsibility, our environment and the importance of giving back to mother nature. It’s a great team building activity for students and work colleagues. Participants will work together in small groups and learn how to be a team players. It requires thinking, collaborative and creative skills.
2 Promoting mother nature
Everyday we get overwhelmed with adverts and other marketing campaigns. Everywhere we look we see advertising for food, cars, toys, cosmetics and movies. You name it… the Ads are everywhere, and they all have one thing in common, they promote the things we USE. These products are created from materials we take from mother nature.
Now it’s time to start promoting the most important thing in our lives. The challenge is to give back to mother nature by creating your own adverts and presentations to promote her beauty and benefits to us all. And to encourage others to care for her and give back.
The video below is called “The Giving Tree” and it illustrates how we only take from nature and we rarely give something in return. There’s a lot to learn from this wonderful short story based on the book and drawings of Shel Silverstein. You can select one of these videos to watch with your participants and an good introduction and then complete the giving back to nature challenge.
The challenge can also be combined with Global Cooperation Day. Play this game on the 4th of October. After playing the game, every participant can plant a tree together. To register or get more information about Global Cooperation Day click here:
3 Introduction ( 30 minutes):
1. Watch one of the above videos and brainstorm about the actual meaning of the story and how we as a society are acting the same.
2. Think about how we take from nature with the clothes we wear, the fuels we use, the food we eat and with everything we use in our daily lives.
3. Now think about how we as individuals and society give back to nature and see how few examples we can think of.
4 The Challenge (2 hours) :
1. Form small groups of participants (3 to 4 people).
2. Think about and look for their favourite adverts for shoes, clothes, bags, cars, toys etc.
3. Think about the benefits these products give us and write them down.
4. Think about all the possible benefits nature/trees/forest give us. Think about what trees and nature give us every day and write them down. You can see our list of some benefits above, but there are many more…
5. If possible take the participants outside into a local forest, city park or garden and let them express the benefits of nature or trees by creating their own advert or marketing campaign. They can make any type of campaign they want. It could be a picture, a video, a drawing, a poem, an essay or anything they want to create. Let the participants use their imagination, to imagine the benefits of mother nature and to express it with any creative skill they choose. You can make this part of the challenge as long as you like. For example, you can set 15 minutes to create some slogans or tag line. Or you could set an entire week for some serious creative work.
6. When the presentations have been completed they can take turns presenting them to the other groups.
7. Now ask participants to make a list of suggestions about how they think society and individuals can give back to mother nature. These suggestion could form part of an ongoing work plan to be implemented.
8. The presentations can also be submitted to ForestNation to be featured on our web site.

Comments / Notes