Hello, my dear educators!
A couple of days ago we had a brilliant workshop followed by a very productive discussion about green classrooms and green activities. This workshop was just a first of many free online sessions we plan to organize for all ESL teachers worldwide. This post will be very concise and it will offer a recording, Harry’s presentation, contact, as well as useful links mentioned in the session, and links of activities and thoughts by one of our participants. Let’s dive right into it!
You can click on the green Renewable English logo, or HERE to contact and follow Harry’s green work in the classroom.
Rowena’s ideas and thoughts after the workshop
One of our participants had a lot of useful ideas and we asked her to jot them down so we can share them with you.
- Class plants are safer than class animals for both sides (children and animals), no need to sign documents or ask for special permission.
- Plants change the class environment, which is usually very static in schools.
- Plants raise awareness of other life forms.
- To take the “outside in” a magic box could be useful and funny for kids. It can be used to guess activities, 5 senses awareness, and so on.
- Upcycle: showing them the “before and after” so that kids can actually have a model of how to find and transform materials.
- One con is the potential parents’ reaction. In my experience, they are happy to talk about nature and sustainability in theory, but when it comes to action sometimes, they feel attacked because it challenges their way of life.
The Greenest Kids in Town workshop presentation
Explore the workshop recording below
5 steps to a greener classroom according to Harry
Get a class plant
Get a class plant – plants bring colour and life, they can be great for timeouts and they offer opportunities for endless projects. The class plant can be part of many environmental and science projects (from parts of plants, to plant life cycle), art projects (painting plant shadows, plants from a fairytale), bring your plant home for the weekend project, singing to the plant, reading stories to the plant and so much more.
Taking the inside out and the outside in
Taking the inside out activities can include mindfulness and nature listening, I spy with my little eye type activities, nature scavenger hunts, painting sticks, building bug hotels, and bee baths. Most of these things can be done in your schoolyard.
Bringing the outside in activities include tree counting, tree poetry, bird or insect spotting, exploring sounds and smells, leaf play, visualization, show and tell, stepping stones, and more.
The 3 R’s? There’s only one U! Upcycle!
Upcycling projects include:
- Bird feeder craft
- Make a toy/game
- Tidy up your desk
- Make a plant pot competition
- Make upcycled art
Explore our Pinterest board below for more inspiration on recycled arts and crafts, while also including a STEAM angle.
Be plastic clever
To be more plastic clever try to do class litter picking (kids against plastics has an app to track your litter picking activities, and the website is linked below), do a plastic audit of your classroom together, and finally, rethink your plastic habits in the classroom.
Green routines help you do a little all the time and they are non-intrusive in your daily teaching habits.
Simple green routines in your classroom can be:
- Celebrating every single little act of sustainability
- Having a 5-minute planet focus
- Discuss what I’ve done today and what I’ll do tomorrow
- Work on numbers and infographics
- Discuss how does something help and how does it hurt. It can be anything that you can analyze from an environmental angle.
- Make a pledge and/or a green promise wall.
Links from the presentation
Harry mentioned kids against plastics nonprofit run by kids, and you can access it here.
The second link is about nature crafts – crafts made from natural materials.
Explore our FREE science and environmental materials for your ESL classroom here.
Harry’s final words in the workshop!
Join us in our free online workshops each month
Click on the button below to join us in our free workshops for next month and to see what are our upcoming sessions all about. We are also open to having experienced presenters, so don’t hesitate to reach out!