From an early age, we can teach our children and students how important it is to take care of the planet. Instilling good values such as: taking care of our environment, respect for others, and having empathy towards nature are teachings that children can appreciate throughout their whole lives. Environmental education also promotes critical and creative thinking skills that inspire children to become more involved with their communities. All in all, the planet earth will be in the hands of children in the future and it is essential to teach them to value it.
Teaching about environmental care can be fun by thinking of ways to be more mindful!
To introduce the message of environmental care, you can start by sharing the book:
Mis Cuentos Ecológicos with your children or students. Not only will you be instilling good values but you will also be practicing reading with your children. By discussing the message of each story, you can also do reading comprehension activities so that the children understand what they are reading. For example, using the story Salvemos el bosque (pages 56-65), start with questions such as: "Why should the forest be clean?" "Who lives in the forest?" "Would you like your home to have garbage? "Why do you think the animals in the story are sad? "Is it fair to dirty the animals’ houses in the forest? These questions are meant to emphasize the importance of not disposing of garbage in the forest. After discussing them, you can make a craft with your child or students using recycled materials.
The craft is a small birdhouse. You can use a recycled milk carton (plastic or paper). You can also use a plastic bottle. To find the materials for the house, you can take a trip to the park or the forest where the children can clean up all the garbage they see and then try to find objects that they can add to their house. Children can use (stones, branches, flowers, leaves, etc) the important thing is that they find it on the ground. Then, help your children or students cut the door of the house, inside it, you can put food for the birds or dry grass. With the found material and paint, the children will be able to decorate the house to their creative taste. Here are a few examples of some birdhouses.
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Written by: Valeria Flores. University of California Los Angeles. Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Linguistics. Bilingual teacher.