Sustainability when you have set lesson content

Many of us don’t have the freedom to choose what we cover in a lesson. What can you do to bring a sustainability twist to every lesson even when you have to operate within what may seem like the tramlines of set lesson outcomes?

There are many possibilities. Here is one I learnt in the InnovateELT conference in a session by Dan Barber which focusses on learners applying critical thinking skills to any text. I’ve embellished this with support from images to steer learners in the direction of the environmental considerations of any text on any topic.

Find out how this works for me and could work for you and click below to access the article.

Published by eltsustainable

4 thoughts on “Sustainability when you have set lesson content

  1. I’m really glad you liked the critical thinking angle. I think the Qs you’ve come up with are good. The one big difference is that one of my Qs asks about money. I think a lot of real-life CT is about ‘following the money’ to learn the truth, e.g. ‘Why did the UK leaving the EU really happen? Could it be something to do with tax evasion by the uber-rich?’ So not just “Why was this written?” but “Who paid for it to be written?” or “Who would pay to have it written?” Feels more hard core. What do you think?
    Another difference is that since I had a specific topic in mind (these Qs are based on a lesson about jeans), I was able to scaffold the Q about which topics are NOT mentioned, and by doing so, ‘guide’ them to think about sustainability and poor working conditions. And by ‘guide’, I mean manipulate ;o)
    My Qs, by the way are here, for comparison / combining :

    What is the aim of the text (e.g. to persuade, inform, etc)?
    Who do you think paid to have this article written? Why?
    Which of these aspects of the topic are not mentioned? Why do you think that is?
    the average price of a pair of jeans the durability of denim the environmental cost
    historical uses of jeans the inventor of denim their popularity among different age groups
    typical working conditions in jeans factories what happens to most jeans after use

    1. Hi Dan,
      Thanks for sharing this and jogging my memory from your session. What a great idea about following the money. I always tend to focus on what analysing what someone thinks or believes who writes a text, when in fact the vast majority of texts learners will be exposed to are actually written by someone who was paid by someone else with a motive. A vital skill, a literacy, even – the ability to interpret the financial motive behind a text. This is my new idea for today. Thank you!

  2. I was just looking around when I came across your article, and I love it! I’m a librarian, and I always try to find new angles and reading strategies. I will definitely bring your ideas to my reading groups right away. Thank you!

  3. Hi Maria,
    I’m so glad to hear that you love this article. It’s really great news to hear that this will be used in your reading groups! Best wishes,

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