In the first Teacher / Researcher Collaborative (TRC) meeting for May (2023), we learned from Dr. Bernie A. Bastien-Olvera about how climate is changing ecosystems, what it means to people, and how climate research can inform policy. Click here for access to the slide deck from the presentation and click below for the video of his presentation.
Additionally, Bernie shared a wonderful activity to engage students with an appreciation of nature. This game was developed by Bernie, Raiza Pilatowsky, and planeteando.org
Instruction for Nature's Benefits Classroom Game
Ribbons of three different colors: Yellow, Blue, and Green.
Markers for writing on the ribbons.
An inflatable globe.
Sticky material to stick the ribbons to the globe.
Each child will be given a ribbon of either Yellow, Blue, or Green color. These colors will be distributed randomly and equitably among the children.
Each child will also be given a marker. They will be asked a question based on the color of their ribbon:
Yellow: What's something that comes from nature that you can buy in the supermarket?
Blue: What's a place in nature that you have visited and liked?
Green: What's an animal or a plant that, just thinking about it, brings you happiness?
The children will write their answers on their respective ribbons.
The children will form three concentric circles around the inflatable globe.
Children with Yellow ribbons will stand in the innermost circle closest to the globe, Blue ribbons in the middle circle, and Green ribbons in the outermost circle.
The instructor will stand at the center of the circles with the globe.
Each child will be assigned a number from 1 to X (based on the total number of kids).
The instructor will randomly call out a number.
The children assigned that number in each circle will start running around their respective circle.
After completing one round of their circle, they will race towards the globe in the center.
The first one to touch the globe can stick their ribbon onto it.
This process continues until all the numbers have been called.
After round one, there will likely be more Yellow ribbons on the globe. This will serve as a starting point for a discussion led by the instructor about how often we prioritize items that we can buy or sell for money, but there are many other valuable things from nature that we might overlook.
All the children will now form a single circle around the globe.
The same rules from round one apply, but now there's no distinction between ribbon colors.
The children continue to run towards the globe as their numbers are called, sticking their ribbons to the globe.
At the end of round two, the globe should be a colorful mix of Yellow, Blue, and Green ribbons, showing the diversity of our relationships with nature, from the products we buy, to the places we visit, to the creatures and plants that bring us joy.
Remember, the primary aim of this game is to foster a sense of appreciation for nature's benefits in a fun, interactive way. Enjoy the game!