Date to Celebrate - June 5: World Environment Day
What's it all about?
It's time to stop saying "we must do more about climate change", and start teaching your pupils what they can do personally. World Environment Day is organised by the UN to encourage political and individual action over global warming.
Most children are pretty wise about climate change, so make this assembly as practical as possible. Focus on what they can do at home, by switching off lights, unplugging their phone chargers when they are not using them and turning off computers at the wall when they are not being used. You can also discuss what your school could be doing to fight climate change. This could be the time, if you're feeling brave, to launch a new recycling scheme or walking bus.
Drive home the immediate impact by telling the stories of those already affected. Global warming will hit the world's poorest people hardest, and pupils' awareness of this can develop their global citizenship. But make sure you also include some stories from the UK, to bring the danger closer to home. Global Eye has a number of case studies: www.globaleye.org.uksecondary_spring05focusontoday.html
If you have time, ask class teachers to give pupils green Post-its to write promises they can make to help the environment. As they enter the assembly, they can stick them to a wall, and read out some of the best examples. You can always revisit these promises in a month's time and see who has stuck to them, and who has not.
Help, I've got no time to prepare
Visit Teachernet for a set of nine assemblies on climate change and sustainability: http:tinyurl.comckbyrb
Oxfam also provide a week's worth of lesson plans: www.oxfam.org.ukeducationresourcesclimate_chaos
Where do I get more information?
The Centre for Alternative Technology has a factsheet on sustainable development: www.cat.org.ukeducationpdfsustdev.pdf To show film clips about the greenhouse effect, visit: www.direct.gov.ukenenvironmentandgreenerlivingDG_068559.