Our impact on the natural world — and its impact on us — has never been so stark. But how do our lives affect the planet, and why does the rest of ecology matter so much to our own survival?
Global Ideas learning packs are a fun and engaging way for students to explore these vital questions.
How does wildlife flourish in cities? Why do we need pollinators like bees? And why are cow burps dangerous for the climate? Each learning pack puts the focus on a key topic of up-to-date environmental education, bringing climate and biodiversity protection into the classroom — or your own living room.
The first pack — plastic waste and its environmental impact — was published in 2017. “At the time, the problem wasn’t yet present in the media like it is today,” said DW editor-in-chief Manuela Kasper-Claridge. “Since then, seven more packs have followed, all of which can support digital learning through the pandemic.”
Games, animated films, articles and interactive worksheets clearly explain and illustrate the biodiversity and climate crises — and possible solutions — helping children and young people connect these global issues to their own lives.
There are ideas for experiments and practical exercises to spark deeper engagement with students’ immediate environment. And for teachers, there are detailed lesson guides.
“The kids (all between 14 and 16) were very interested and engaged. They were particularly shocked by the impacts on seas and oceans,” writes Sarah Blunschi, a teacher from Switzerland. “The kids now want to target grocery shops with a campaign of posters and cloth bags (made from old t-shirts) to raise awareness of alternatives.”
Blunschi later wrote that ten of her 16 students had switched from plastic to glass water bottles.
DW’s teaching materials are used around the world to educate the next generation about the climate and biodiversity. So far, there are seven topic-focused learning packs available in English, German and Spanish. Global Ideas is funded by the German Environment Ministry’s International Climate Initiative (IKI).