The fairies’ forest

ValueEthical & Social
LocationIndoor, Outdoor
TopicConflict resolution
OverviewIn the first part, the story "The fairies’ forest" will be narrated, in the second part, the children will be asked questions, and in the third, the facilitator will make a summary of the activity.
Learning objectivesTo verify if the children know the necessity to take care of and to preserve nature; To learn how to deal with conflict
Skills developedProblem solving
MethodStorytelling: Narration, Socratic Dialogue, critical thinking
Narration of the story.
The fairies’ forest (adaptation)
Once upon a time there were two children called Jennifer and Yaisa. The first was a very good student and with a great heart; on the contrary, Yaisa was a terrible student and very rude.
Jennifer lived in a house next to the blue forest, her parents were farmers and they did not have much money. However, Yaisa  lived in a great house located on the hill, her parents were rich, and, therefore, she had all the whims that she wanted.
Although they were coming from so different worlds, they were great friends and had been together since day-care. Yaisa’s parents had been against this friendship, but they could do nothing about the persistence of the girls to continue being friends.
As it was told, Jennifer lived next to the blue forest. This forest was called like that by the villagers, because a great amount of blue butterflies lived in it. Many thought that those butterflies were in fact nymphs and that they would seize whoever entered the forest at dusk.
This legend had been fed for many years when a girl disappeared in the forest and since then nothing was heard about her. The legend of the blue forest was born after this event, and lasted to the present time, passing down from generation to generation.
One day Yaisa, suggested going to the forest.
_ No, it is dangerous, answered Jennifer.
_ Why? Do you believe that story?
_ Umm... Yes, I once heard it from my grandfather.
_ These are lies, what happens is that you are scared and you do not want to admit it.
_ I am not scared!
_ Yes, you are. You are a coward!
_ I am not a coward! OK, we will go, but you must promise me that we will be back before dusk.
_ It’s ok, I promise.
While they entered the forest, Jennifer regretted accepting.
And if the legend was true? And if I do not see my parents again?, she thought.
_ Listen, Yaisa, I’m going back home.
_ What?
_ I’m sorry, I’m going.
_ Come on, we are already inside, are you going to leave me alone now.
_ If I'm going, are you coming?
_ It’s ok, I’m coming with you.
Suddenly a voice was heard: "Welcome to my kingdom".
_ Who said that?
_ It wasn’t me. – Yaisa, frightened, answered.
_ There, look! - said Jennifer.
_ But...but, what is that?
They looked upwards and they saw an ethereal being that stayed floating in the air. Around it, there were hundreds of blue butterflies with a strange human form illuminated and gave it a strange aspect.
_ Who are you? - the friends asked almost out of breath.
_ I am Ethea, queen of this place, surely, you will know me as the fairy of the forests. The butterflies are my nymphs. What are you doing here?
_ Nothing, we just came to play a little, but we were already leaving.
_ To play, hum. Aha, let me suggest a game.
_ Let’s see, tell us.
_ The one that brings me the object that weighs less will win and will be led outside the forest, the loser will remain here with me forever and will be turned into a beautiful blue butterfly.
_ Lady, you cannot do this to us – begged in unison the two girls.
_ Why? You have invaded my kingdom and this is the only way to leave. All these butterflies were people like you who dared to enter. They were losers. You have one hour. You go in opposite directions and bring me that object. Time starts now.
_ No, Yaisa - said Jennifer – stay here I have the solution. We can give Ethea the same object so she will let us go. Nobody will win or lose. We can escape together!
_ No, you only want to beat me, but I will beat you in this competition. You will remain here - answered Yaisa infuriated.
Yaisa left running to the left, whereas Jennifer remained quiet.
_ You say that you have the solution? I hope that it is true, although within one hour we will know for sure.
The time passed inexorably and after one hour, Yaisa was brought in by the nymphs.
_ Well, what have you got? - the fairy asked her.
_ Me, this feather, light as the wind. - shouted Yaisa excitedly.
_ And you? – she addressed Jennifer.
_ Me, here you have it, and closing her fist she gave it to the fairy.
_ But this is a joke, there is nothing here.
_ Of course there is. There is air. That is my object. There is nothing lighter than it.
_ Very clever! - the fairy exclaimed. Here is my decision.
_ You, Yaisa, in order to win you have brought me indeed a very light material but you have had to kill a little bird. You have attacked nature. You, Jennifer, however, you have obtained the lightest material that exists without attacking the environment. Jennifer you are free to go.
_ No! I want my friend to go away, I will stay in her place - Jennifer answered.
_ Incredible, in my 500 years of life, this is the first time that something like this happens. After this, I believe that you two deserve to go home. You can go.
_ Thanks, lady – they answered in unison.
_ You can return whenever you want. You have learned the most important lesson of your life: not to attack nature.
The facilitator will ask questions to the children to hear the criteria of each one on what is said in the story.
●       Jennifer suggests to Yaisa the possibility of giving Ethea the same object. What would you have done if you were one of the girls?
●       Would you hurt an animal to be able to escape as Yaisa did?
●       Why did the fairy forgive the children?
●       Why did the fairy say that we should not attack nature?
●       Have you seen yourselves attacking nature? How? When?
●       Which is the correct attitude or ways to behave towards nature?
The facilitator will summarize the activity and the complete block emphasizing on the need to love and to take care of nature and why we must do it. We will tell them that in the world the great majority of the countries have dictated laws of protection for the nature and the environment that surrounds us, such as to ban the indiscriminate cutting-down of trees, because if not the earth erodes, it becomes a waste and it does not serve to seed, also the rains would decrease, there would not be water in the dams, nor in the rivers, the plants would be dry, the animals would die without having water to drink. If the plants dry and the animals die, the benefits that the children already know will be lost.
Laws have also been dictated prohibiting that the factories throw chemical waste to the seas and rivers, because they contaminate the waters and the fish die and those waters are not suitable for the animals to drink, nor can we bathe in them.
It is prohibited to contaminate the atmosphere, the air that we breathe, with gases that are harmful to our health.
The children and all the people must also contribute to the care and preservation of nature, and of the environment we live in.
If you want you could also add a short paragraph on "eco anxiety" in children. Children are becoming increasingly anxious and depressed about the state of Nature.  Many teachers are unequipped to deal with it. A good way is to speak about actions that empower the children (e.g. talking about good environmental practices;volunteering with an environmental group;making greener choices, including recycling). Teachers should always reframe things in a positive way.
TipsAdditional materialsHow to apply online?What to do at home?
The names of the characters in the story can be changed to others that are more familiar to children. This will make the identification process easier for children.
If there is enough time, the facilitator can ask children to draw the characters of the story.
How to apply it online?
It can be done online and face-to-face since it is based on the dialogue.
What to do at home?
If the activity could be carried out in a forest near the educational center or home, it would be an environment that would facilitate the imagination of the children. The facilitator could start the story by saying, "I have brought you to a very special place where the following story happened a long time ago".
Parents can narrate this story and ask the same questions at home.
According to a survey led by researchers from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom, most young people are worried and angry about what they see ahead. They feel that the future should have been, and still could be, prevented by an older generation not doing enough to prevent it. More than 50% of the survey responders said they felt “sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty” about climate change.
Parents and facilitators should be aware of the multiple forms of the phenomenon called “Eco-Anxiety*”by experts. Eco-anxiety is found to be closely connected with many difficult emotions, such as grief, guilt, anger, and despair.  Many parents and facilitators are unequipped to deal with it. A good way is to speak about actions that empower the children (e.g., talking about good environmental practices;volunteering with an environmental group; making greener choices, including recycling). Teachers should always reframe things in a positive way.
*Additional information: Pihkala P. Eco-Anxiety and Environmental Education. Sustainability. 2020; 12(23):10149.


AuthorElvira Sánchez-Igual*, AMEI-WAECE *Cohort 6 #TeachSDGs Ambassador!
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