IH World is ambitious that all IH schools will take positive actions to protect our planet.
A key part of this is raising awareness of environmental issues, and how better to do this than bring some of our own students together to generate content that will resonate with their peers around the world?
The IH Young Environmentalists Project aimed to bring together young students from IH schools around the network to create resources which teachers could then use in discussions with their own students, in classrooms from Buenos Aires to Bangkok, and Sydney to Seville.
It made perfect sense to create a project for young people, since they are the ones whose futures will be most affected by the changes to our planet. Students speaking to other students, sharing the same interest and concerns – we were sure they would create very powerful messages.
If you are a teacher in an IH school, go to the Teachers Library in the IHWO Members area to find these resources and use them freely with your own classes. There are accompanying lesson plans and powerpoints. (To access these, IH teachers need to be signed into the secure members area.)
Please remember these have been produced by students, for students. You may feel the need to explain to your classes that they are not professionally produced by a publisher, but they are the genuine opinions of young people like them around the world.
Pollution and Shortage of Resources
Some of the most significant effects that human activity is having on the environment are water pollution, air pollution, and using up precious natural resources.
A lesson for B1 level learners and above (lasting about 90 minutes) gets students to talk about these issues. Introductory questions start the lesson, then a website created by one Young Environmentalists group, with reading tasks, is used to consider in more depth water pollution and air pollution. Students will also watch a video produced by the second Young Environmentalists project group specifically about air pollution, with a set of questions to watch for.
Further tasks relating to shortage of resources and recycling follow, with extension activities such as creating a class poster, infographic, poem or song.
Fast fashion has a huge environmental impact. Young people are likely to be interested in clothes and ever changing fashion. These resources get the discussion going about how often they buy clothes and which shops they buy from, and what they can do to reduce the negative environmental impacts of fast fashion.
A lesson plan for B2 level learners and above includes a quiz to activate lexis and discussion, then shows the video which the project group created. There is a handout relating to data in the video about the wider cost of fashion (for example what is the average weight of clothes the average American throws away every year, and how many litres of water are required to produce one pair of jeans*), and a suggested podcast for an extension activity.
7 Week Challenge
As part of the IH Young Environmentalists Project, the students came up with a seven step plan to encourage people to take positive actions to protect our planet.
Inspired by this, there is an IH 7-week Environmental Sustainability Challenge running through April and May 2021. More details on the event page.
International House is tremendously proud of the work that Filipa, Matilda, Intza, Leira, Iraide, Miłosz, Pietro, Joao, Ettore, Cecilia, Alice, Maria, Anna, Valeria, Mattia, Sara, Zhanel, Emilio, Tiago, Luisa, Danila, Julia, Daria, Elizaveta, Nastya, Sonya, Anna, Ruslan, and Azzurra have produced. And we are very thankful to the IH coordinators Tatyana, Palmina, Lucie, James, Carolina, Laura and Beci,
* The YE project video says the weight of clothes the average American throws away every year is 37 kg, and 7600 litres of water are required to produce one pair of jeans.