Activities: Quick, little preparation required
A day in my life…
Ask learners to keep a log of a day in their consumer life, listing all the items they use and consume over the course of a day. Plot this information in different ways: recyclable or non-recyclable; one use or multiple uses; from living sources (animal and plant) or non-living sources etc. Consider the energy required to produce the goods and transport them to the point of use.
In small groups (possibly with a classroom assistant) teach children to sew on a button and mend a small hole or tear in a piece of fabric.
Encourage a walk-to-school day, a walking bus or a walking club to encourage children to get active and walk instead of taking the car or bus.
Set in place a rota of children to monitor energy use in your classroom or school over a two week period. Ask them to go beyond the usual obvious things, like turning off lights and taps, to considering more subtle forms of energy wastage – such as leaving on computers when not in use and opening windows because the heating is too hot. After the two weeks is up and everyone has had a turn, use a class discussion to consider the ways in which everyone can help to reduce energy wastage. You could consider writing to the Head or Governors to change the way things are done in school.
Where does your food come from?
Bring a selection of food items for the children to work with, particularly those that have labels stating their country of origin. Ask learners to record the food item, country of origin and the distance it has travelled in a simple table. Internet access will be required to find out the distances (you could usewww.mapcrow.info). Provide learners with world maps and ask them to record on the map where the food items have travelled from. Older learners can research the conditions for workers in the countries of origin.An awareness of the range of producers and the transport, refrigeration and processing that may be required to make foods available in this country can developed through class discussions about student’s findings. Making these foods available requires an energy input which will result in the production of carbon dioxide.