|Teaching Conservation in Developing Nations (Peace Corps)|
|Chapter 2: Conservation education in a school|
|A school conservation education outline|
- To understand our responsibilities for use and management of our environment.
- To develop additional understandings of natural resources needed to apply conservation practices.
- To learn how the natural environment serves as inspiration for creative art: painting, music, storytelling, and poetry, and how natural resources contribute to the production of materials used in painting, sculpture, and other art forms
- To learn what your community is doing to the environment.
- To learn what government agencies are doing to help protect and conserve natural resources.
- To understand the need to use ecological principles as guides for conservation action.
Things to Talk About
- What characteristics do people share with other living things? How does our ability to plan and achieve objectives make us different from other living creatures?
- What changes caused by people's use of resources have had or continue to have a detrimental effect on your environment? What changes have a beneficial effect?
- What are people's responsibilities to other living things as we make use of resources?
- How do resources contribute to the social and economic development of your country? of the world?
- Do the decisions on resource use in your community affect your country? What conservation practices can be used in your community to improve the resources needed by your country?
- How might natural resources serve as themes in painting, music, dance, writing or other creative work? What natural resources are used in the creation of art? What art materials are made from natural resources?
- What are the conservation and environmental problems of your community? What treatments are needed? Why?
- What kinds of sewage and solid waste disposal are used in your community? What effects do these methods have on underground water supplies? on public health? on environmental quality? Do these methods contribute to water or air pollution?
Things to Do
- Locate an eroding area on the school site or nearby, and determine the probable cause or causes of the erosion. Design and carry out a plan to control the erosion and to prevent similar problems in the future.
- List how the family of each student in your class makes use of natural resources.
- Make a map of your community to show the boundaries of several watersheds, and to show how these watersheds form the drainage basin of a river.
- Visit artists in your community to learn how they use natural resources as inspiration for their works.
- Think of songs which show how music can interpret the environment. Write a song that describes some aspect of the natural environment.
- Compile a list of government agencies with conservation and resources management responsibilities. Contact a conservation office in government or a university to find out what conservation measures they are taking which might affect your community. Can you help in any way?
- Visit a state park, forest, wildlife refuge, or farm; report on the resource management objectives and procedures used to achieve them.
- Make a conservation inventory of your community. Determine alternative solutions for several of the problems observed. Make sketches when collecting information.
- Develop an outdoor classroom for your school. Select an area with many different learning opportunities. Inventory the existing vegetation, boulders, streams, and special areas that could be used for learning. What kinds of information on soil and water conservation are needed? Make a guidebook for younger classes to use,
- Design a conservation oriented science fair. Develop projects and estimate the time needed to prepare them so that all projects will be ready for the fair.
- Construct a simple, functioning habitat containing at least three different plants and two different animals. Make and record observations daily for a month.
(See Appendix A, C & F for further suggestions and information).
Adapted with permission from the U.S. Soil Conservation Service publication "An Outline for Teaching Conservation in Elementary Schools".