‘My syllabus is so full already’ or ‘I have so much to get through I don’t have time to teach a whole lesson about environmental issues’ are reasons I have often heard for teachers not feeling able to bring sustainability into their classes. I can relate to this as the organisation I work in has courses where every lesson topic is pre-arranged.
I strongly believe there are ways round this. As I have written about previously, one of them is to bring a green twist to every lesson no matter the topic.
Activities based around pictures are a fantastic way to do this. A picture can be the source of so much discussion, communication, interaction and learning. It also has the advantage of working in both high and low context environments in terms of the tech teachers have in their classroom. It can be displayed on a projector or a piece of paper, or even just a phone.
This lesson activity is an example of how a picture can bring that global issues focus to a lesson on a set topic. The idea came about through a picture created by Phubes, a Thai street artist, shared on ELT Footprint by a teacher called Clyde Fowle, and then grew into a lesson idea through a collaboration between Clyde and myself. What’s more, there are two versions of the material. One is by me for if you have 10 minutes or less. The other is by Clyde if you have more time, and I have to say, I really want to use his version!
Inspire your students to positively engage with environmental issues and sustainability on their language learning journey.
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