Climate Literacy and Climate Action with UNN kids

Written by helen.okpala
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Download this Report  Download the Essay   Download the Pledge sample
Download the workshop presentation. Download the video clip

As a member of the University of Nigeria Nsukka Children Centre Committee, I participated in the 2016 Long Vacation Programme as a facilitator and one of the topics I handled was ‘Understanding Climate Change’. It was a well-packaged programme for the University staff children and students of University primary and secondary schools, respectively. I taught the basics of climate change, effects of climate change and engaged the kids in practical classes. In the course of the programme, I interviewed them and discovered that 95% of the kids had not learnt of the Sustainable Development Goals and are not familiar with the causes and effects of climate change.

In summary, the class took this shape:

Duration: 4 days.

Day 1: Introduction to Climate and weather

Day 2: Causes, Effects of Climate Change and take-home assignments

Day 3: Individual Essays, Group discussions and presentations

Day 4. Submission and discussion of assignments and pledges.

Day 5: Planting of trees

 Entry behavior: I placed some climate change animated videos for the kids. Some of the videos played are:

  1. Greenhouse Effect for kids
  2. Global Warming for kids
  3. Kids Learning – How to save energy
  4. What is Climate Change?
  5. What you can do about Climate Change

Mode of teaching: I started by asking the kids if they knew the difference between climate and weather.

Me: Do you know the difference between Climate and Weather?

Kids (95%):  No.

On asking further questions, I discovered the children were not familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 13 – Taking Climate Action. I introduced the SDGs and concentrated on climate change which I expatiated. The causes of climate change was unleashed and the kids were made to understand that they too can contribute to climate change.

I gave out Nine (9) essay topics to the kids to take home and write 100 words (See figure 1)

EssaypicIn addition, I inspired the kids and made them get committed to climate change by making a pledge with their parents on taking climate action (see figure 2):

pledge pic

Figure 2: Climate Action pledge

The next day, the kids were given opportunity to discuss their hand-written essays and pledges. The essence of asking for hand-written essays is to show originality, get the kids involved in the essay and also save cost of typing and printing.

The class was grouped into six (6) after they were asked to discuss climate change and each group was asked to present on the causes of climate change and what they would do to combat it.

Watch a little video clip of the presentation here:

The last day was dedicated more to planting of trees. This was made possible by Prof.  (Mrs) Achike who provided the umbrella tree which was planted. The kids were taught the essence of planting the trees and how to plant trees to combat climate change. See pictures:







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