|Environmental Education in the Schools (Peace Corps, 1993)|
|Activities, activities and more activities|
From habitat tag to quiz-shows, games can help motivate students, break up lectures, and serve as an entertaining transition between one unit and another. They can also promote environmental learning when focused on specific knowledge, thinking skills, concepts, and attitudes.
As with all activities, it's important to establish your objectives before creating a game. It's also important to know how you will evaluate your students' performances. Although it's great to break up traditional learning with entertaining games, it's important not to confuse fun with learning. With some games, students are much more interested in "winning" than they are in learning, and you have to be careful not to overuse games or make them too contrived and complicated that students miss the point. It's best to strive for fun and learning.
We've included three examples of games that you can adapt. The first is "Pollution Bingo," which can help students learn and review vocabulary words related to pollution and is a great activity for TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) classes. You play by reading a definition and have students find the word on their bingo sheets and cover it with a bean or pebble. (The students can make their own sheets by cutting out the squares and pasting them on cardboard.) The first person that gets a row across, down, or diagonally wins. There are many variations on the bingo theme, including picture bingo, animal characteristic bingo, and environmental math bingo. The second game, "Mammal Know-It-All" is great for group competition and unit review and is based on the popular U.S. game shows: Jeopardy and Concentration. And the last example is a running game to help students understand more about bats and echolocation.
In addition to adapting games from the U.S. to your country, we suggest that you talk with your colleagues to find out about local games that might be adapted for use with environmental themes.
ACTIVITIES IN THIS SECTION
1. POLLUTION GLOSSARY, reprinted with permission from Ranger Rick's NatureScope: Pollution-Problems and Solutions published by the National Wildlife Federation (1990).
2. MAMMAL KNOW-IT-ALL, reprinted with permission from Ranger Rick's NatureScope: Amazing Mammals-Part I published by the National Wildlife Federation (1986).
3. BAT AND MOTH, reprinted with permission from Ranger
Rick's NatureScope: Amazing Mammals-Part II published by the National
Wildlife Federation. Original activity published in Sharing Nature With
Children by Joseph Cornell, Ananda Publications (1979).