Love of nature

TopicLove of nature
OverviewThe activity consists of four parts: 1) In the first part, we start by talking about the living (animated nature) and non-living beings (inanimate nature) that exist in nature, in the world we live in, and explain their characteristics. 2) In the second part, some characteristics of the plants as living beings will be explained, and why it is necessary to love them and to take care of them. 3) In the third part, some of the characteristics of the animals as living beings will be explained and why it is also necessary to love them and to take care of them. 4) The fourth part consists of an educational game where children will classify a group of pictures following the criteria of living and non-living beings
Learning objectivesTo develop in the children the knowledge of the natural world and the necessity to love it and to take care of it for its conservation. To promote positive emotional experiences in their relation with the natural world.
Skills developedResponsibility taking, Problem sensitivity, Critical thinking, Acting, Knowledge acquisition, Self-reflection, Problem solving, Perspective taking, Decision making, Communication and Discussion abilities.
Method•Explanation •Observation •Conversation (socratic dialogue) Class Discussion
Materialsa. Pictures, photos, or films with animals and plants related content. b. Natural plants, or parts of them such as: leaves, branches, seeds. c. Domestic little animals such as: a turtle, a small dog, a hamster, etc. d. A piece of rock, stone or any sample of inanimate nature.
The facilitator asks parents to bring to the classroom a shoe that has become too small for their child. It is even advisable that it is a baby shoe, explaining to them the work we are going to do. The shoes are placed in the centre of a circle and the children compare the size of their current shoes with those they have brought.
This allows us to discuss growth, the learning that they have carried out until now, and what they still have to achieve until they wear shoes as large as dad’s and mum’s. The different sizes of the shoes are a symbolic index of growth and development, apart from a sign of identity.
Finally, we suggest adding a sort of final discussion question like "Of all the things you are learning, what do you think will be the most useful when you are an adult?"
1st Part (15 minutes)
The facilitator explains to the children that the nature around us is beautiful: the rivers and the lakes, the mountains, the plants with their flavourful fruits and beautiful flowers, our beloved and beautiful pets that cheer us up so much, and in general the animals that feed us and the plants that offer us their shade, their fruits, and the clean air that we breathe, making our life possible. (A picture or photo can be shown, or a short videotape).
The nature that surrounds us consists of living beings: they are the plants and animals that have life. They are called living beings because they are born, they grow, they breathe, they are fed and they reproduce (have offsprings; to show a picture of some animal with its young), people are also living beings.
We are also surrounded by inanimate nature, composed of things that do not have life, they are not born, nor they grow, nor are they developed, for example: the rocks, the soil, the mountains, the sand, the sea, etc. (to show a picture or a stone, etc.).
It is necessary to love and to take care of this nature of the world we live in, because thanks to it we feed ourselves, we breathe, we obtain our clothes, our footwear, etc.
2nd Part (15 minutes)
The facilitator prepares a series of questions for the children.
Class Discussion and/or usual circle time are welcome. This methodology can teach children respect for others, communication skills, how to interact with peers and adults..
What are plants?
Do you have any plants in your house?
Do you know how to take care of them?
Do you love them?
Have you ever given food to them?
And the key point question: why is it necessary....
After the children answer these questions, the facilitator will explain some characteristics of the plants to them and the necessity to love them and to take care of them so that they do not die. They can make statements like this:
Plants do not have to look for their food like the animals. They only need the energy of the sun, water and oxygen and they make their food themselves. Plants are the only living beings that can produce their own food! (Show a picture ). They do not need to be given food every day; you must only put them in soil and water them once in a while.
Did you know that the plants can also breathe?
That is why the plants that we have in our house and at school must have their leaves cleaned so that they breathe better (A branch with its leaves can be shown). Like the rest of the living beings, the plants reproduce and originate new plants. When the seed germinates and the plant is small, it is necessary to take care of it like a baby, so that it grows and develops healthily.
Just like animals, plants are alive because they breathe - just not in the same way. Plants take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen through their leaves.
Do you know why plants sicken and die?
Because of lack of care, if you see them withered, water them, they are sad for that reason. If you see that a plant has white or black spots in its leaves, surely they have some parasite, tell it to your mother or educator who will surely know how to cure it or call a plant doctor who is called phyto-health worker, and knows which medicine to put on it. Never mistreat plants by taking or striking their leaves or stems, because they will die.
There are many types of plants that are different in the form, size, and colour of their leaves, in the thickness and size of their stems, in their roots that sink deep in the earth, or that remain more in the surface, some are wide and heavy, others are thin and small, etc. Some trees have flowers and fruits and others don’t. (All this can be explained by showing pictures, the plant or its part in natural form).
3rd Part (15 minutes)
The facilitator will begin with the question: What are animals? and let the children say what they know about animals.
Later, they will explain that the animals, like the plants, are living beings, because they are born, they grow, they breathe, they are fed and they reproduce. (Show a picture or photo, or project a video on animals). Some are so tiny that they can not be seen at first; others, however, reach great sizes. The blue whale is the largest animal.
Illustration about the life cycle of a plant.
Unlike plants, animals must look for their food in the environment that surrounds them. They are also different from the plants that cannot move. Almost all animals can move from one place to another. In general, they all need to move to obtain food, to look for their couple and  reproduce or to escape from their predators. (Other greater and ferocious animals that hunt them to eat them).
Do you have any animals in your house?
Do you take care of them?
Do you love them?
How do you take care of them?
Did you know that  if you do not love and take care of the animals they become ill and die?
It is necessary to feed the animals, to treat them with affection and not to take advantage of them. It is necessary to take them to the veterinarian when they become ill.
Surely, you know many kinds of animals and, perhaps, you have a pet that lives with you. Dogs, cats, budgies, turtles and hamsters are some of the animals that you might have in your house (If possible, bring in a pet).
Animals can have their body covered with animal hair, feathers, scales. Some move on the ground (and others in the air, like the birds). Some have four legs, others two.
Practically, we can find animals everywhere. On the ground, some swim in the lakes, the rivers or in the salty waters of the oceans. Others fly in the air.
4th Part (15 minutes)
A game to classify the characteristics of the living beings and the inanimate ones.
The objective is to make a classification following this criteria:
● The group of living beings
● The group of non living beings
The activity can be organized in the following way:
First the children make the classification, throwing the pictures in the baskets according to the selection criteria and later, one by one, at the educator’s order, they will remove a picture from the basket of the right or the left and will answer the question that is formulated about them.  Only one question per child will be formulated.
The questions can be the following ones:
Why have you put the card in that basket?
Why do you consider that this is a living being?
Explain why it is a non-living being?
How do you take care of your pets?
Do you take care of plants?
How can we take care of plants?
Why must we take care of plants?
Why must we take care of animals?
Must we love animals? Why?
Must the plants be loved? Why?
Do you love and take care of your plants and animals? Why?
Where does that animal live?
What is its body covered with?
Do plants need food?
Tell me something about plants.
Tell me something about animals
The children will receive a group of 10 mixed pictures illustrating:
An elephant, a dog, a plant, another plant, a cat.
A rock, a small bag of sand, a snail, a mountain, a river.
The teacher explains the activity:
They must classify the pictures in two groups: The living beings will be thrown in the basket on the right and the non-living beings in the one on the left, and later they will respond to the educator’s question and the game rules will be explained to them, which are: The winners will be the ones who manage to correctly throw 10 cards in the baskets and correctly answer the question that is asked.
After the game, the winners will be congratulated, giving them a picture or any simple gift, and the rest of the group will be congratulated for the effort made, so that all feel stimulated, and they will be told that they must take care of and love nature.
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
This activity is based on Socratic dialogue so it can be done either in the classroom or at home (indoors/online), or in a natural environment (outdoors).
AuthorElvira Sánchez-Igual*, AMEI-WAECE *Cohort 6 #TeachSDGs Ambassador!
Download Download

Back to the learning materials