The May holidays will begin soon – many, according to tradition, will go to nature to relax and spend time with their families. But this weekend can also be used as an opportunity to talk to your child about the environment. What other ways are there to start talking to a child about ecology, said the methodologist of the Pan-Russian Olympics Uchi.ru about ecology and the world around for students in grades 1-6 Ekaterina Egorova.
In the late 1950s, the Chinese government decided to eradicate sparrows and other small birds that damage crops. After the sparrow population became extinct, the first crops actually grew, but then the insects multiplied in the fields, which completely destroyed the crops. The country’s economy has suffered enormous damage.
In order for the next generation of urbanites, agricultural technologists, mining industry professionals and many other professions to make informed decisions, the foundations of environmental thinking must be laid from early childhood, making them the example of a person’s entire life.
Ecological thinking is not only related to the protection of nature, but also to the place of a person in the environment of his life.
We live in a world where two environments intersect: the natural and the man-made. The first emerged without human involvement, but is sensitive to its influence, the second was created by man himself, includes urban and rural environments, transport systems, communications and the Internet, medicine and more.
The task of ecological thinking is to find and realize your place at the crossroads of these environments, to learn to analyze the connections between your actions and the world around you, to feel comfortable between these connections and to support their work. .
1. Get a pet and a plant
Pets – plants or animals – are a good choice to introduce a child to the subject of ecology. Many parents are afraid of the prospect of a pet, as the sense of responsibility in children develops gradually and, most likely, the care of a living creature will fall on the shoulders of adults. The good news is that plants and animals are very different – you can always choose a creature according to your strength, time and interests.
It is not necessary to develop the ecological thinking of a child with the help of a dog or a horse, if this does not fit the time and the financial budget of the family. Using the example of any indoor flower or green house for the table (which is also very useful), a small aquarium or the easiest animal to care for, you can show the connection of a living being to the environment and the importance of an individual as a source. care and resource for a small living system.
Take a picnic or walk in the woods
You can discuss with your child the influence of man in nature during picnics and walks. If you come across rubbish left in the forest or on the river bank, you should pay attention to it and say why this behavior is wrong. Explain to the child how rubbish affects the soil and the insects on it (paint and chemicals will get there), plants (sun and rain will not reach them), animals (they can be poisoned or trapped in the rubbish and be injured).
If you have bags, gloves and other sanitary ware, as well as a sharp-edged stick, the rubbish can be collected and disposed of properly, setting a good example.
Gaining personal experience from the help of nature (“Look how clean it became in the forest thanks to us!”), The child develops consciousness and personal initiative
This is particularly important in our reality, where waste disposal methods are only developed and often completely difficult or inaccessible. The experience of such a personal volunteer will not take much time, but it will serve as an important guide for the future and may become a family tradition. It is recommended to discuss with the child the reasons for the appearance of garbage in the forest and in nature and imagine together what the forest would be like, where everyone would clean a small area according to their abilities.
The benefit of small actions for the benefit of the environment is well described by the parable of the starfish: “A little boy was walking on the beach. After the storm, the entire coast was strewn with depleted starfish, which dried up in the sun and could no longer reach the water. The boy took one star at a time and threw it back into the sea. A man approached him and asked, “Why are you doing this? You are one, and there are thousands of them, you can not change anything! ” The boy replied, “No, I can change a lot – this is for her,” and threw another star into the sea.
3. Take part in the Ecology and Environment Olympiad
Real-life problem solving is one of the most effective ways to shape environmental thinking in students. For example, the work of the Olympics will help to explain clearly to a child that recycling and sorting garbage make houses cleaner and save the household budget.
At the All-Russian Olympiad for Environment and Ecology, which takes place from April 5 to April 25, 2022 on the Uchi platform. ru, special attention is paid to the conservation of the forest and water resources of Russia and the whole world. Situations at work involve different levels of responsibility – the student can act on behalf of the nature of the work or, for example, try on the role of a forest technologist and even the mayor of a city. With this the methodologists want to show that ecological thinking is very important at any level.
In the work of the Olympiad “Order in the forest” and “Let’s go camping”, the student makes decisions related to both environmental care and personal safety. Combining different factors is a feature of work to shape ecological thinking.
In the “Forest Planting” task, the student leads the complex process of selecting and placing different types of trees in a small model area. Here it is necessary to take into account the biological characteristics of the plants, a map of the area and the overall purpose of planting.
Finally, in the “Problem Solving” project, students develop projects to change urban infrastructure, which should not only be safe for nature, but, first of all, comfortable for human life.
The problems of the Olympiad are as close to life as possible and are easily adapted to create homework and creative projects that can be used by biology teachers and the world to work in the classroom.
4. Ask the teacher to give a lesson on ecology
Teachers can download free ready-made educational aids for the “Ecology is all around us” class, which is proposed by the Russian Ministry of Education. In one of the dead battery collection tasks, students will be able to calculate the benefits for nature on trees, earthworms or hedgehogs.
More information on the methods of conducting courses on the subject of ecology can be found in the online seminars Uchi.ru:
Having solved the tasks of the previous years, the student will be able to make a plan for a trip to nature, to grow plants on his own (in a country house or school area) and to properly dispose of garbage.
The development of a comfortable environment for the life of future generations, the logical interaction with the natural world is impossible without the development of ecological thinking, which does not include a consumer, but a model partner in the relationship between nature and man. Lessons in the environment and biology can help shape an ecological paradigm of thought, and modern teaching methods can interest students in caring for nature.
Cover illustration: PlanetOfVectors / shutterstock / fotodom