Global Learning London

What is the global footprint

What is the global footprint?

Target: Upper primary Numeracy (NNS)/ Literacy (NLS) or other curriculum area focus/reference:

Geography (KS2)

Geographical enquiry

  • Identify and explain different views that people, including themselves, hold about topical geographical issues

Knowledge and understanding of environmental change and sustainable development

  • Recognise how people can improve the environment or damage it

Resources needed:

  • Large World map – preferably one which is plastic coated
  • Large paper or card footprint cut-outs for writing issues onto
Objectives: To help children understand that the concept of the global footprint relates to our impact or mark we make on the earth, socially and environmentally.
Length: 1 hour

Description of Activity

1. Introduce the concept of the global footprint by linking together two ideas: different sizes of footprint and different levels of impact. Explain that the dictionary definition of the word impact is a forcible striking upon or against; effect, influence. Then:
  • Show children a globe with different size feet on it.
  • Demonstrate different impacts that can be made with a drum.
  • Combine two images to show we all have an impact on the earth and leave a footprint.
  • Explain that our impact/footprint relates to the effect we have on other people or the environment.
2. Divide children into three groups and give each group three scenarios. For each they should think of all the possible impacts of that scenario on people or the environment, i.e. what footprint/mark it leaves. Any scenarios that have clear social or environmental impacts can be used. Examples might be:
  • Driving a car through a city centre
  • Eating a take away burger from a fast food restaurant
  • Vandalising a young tree in the park
3. Gain feedback from each group and write up the main impacts on feet and stick them on a map of the globe. This produces a good display and identifies with the children some of the main issues affecting our footprint on the earth, e.g. pollution, killing animals, damaging green spaces etc.
Areas of Oxfam Curriculum for Global Citizenship addressed by activity
Knowledge and Understanding
Values and Attitudes
Social justice and equity Critical thinking Sense of identity and self-esteem
Diversity Ability to argue effectively Empathy and sense of common humanity
Globalisation and Interdependence Ability to challenge injustice & inequalities Commitment to social justice and equity
Sustainable development Respect for people and things Valuing and respecting diversity*
Peace and conflict Co-operation and conflict resolution Concern for the environment and commitment to sustainable development
Belief that people can make a difference