50 practical activities to help your pupils make a difference to the environment. The book identifies the issues and provides suggestions for ways to take action including: becoming more energy efficient, reducing litter and waste, making the most of the school grounds, becoming a healthier school and making the most of grants and funding.
Registered: January 2007 Location: Dorchester, Dorset Posts: 569
Review Date: Sun 18, January, 2009
Would you recommend it? Yes |
Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9
Photocopiable master, packed with activities, clear review of the underpinning science.
The presentation could be better - brighter and more visually attractive.
This is an interesting book that provides a wealth of ideas for those who want their school to seriously address the green agenda; whether to save fuel and other costs on a local scale, or tackle the global challenges of climate change. Unfortunately, my initial reaction wasn’t entirely positive due to some strange decisions made by the publishers. This is a pity, as this is an important book with many excellent ideas that are readily applicable to any school.
Allow me first to deal with those initial impressions.
Firstly, to have a cover, which is bright and attractive, reproduced in monochrome as the first page looks annoyingly like padding. There is no need: this slim volume is packed full of exciting ideas.
Secondly, the pages are dull and appear to have been printed on recycled paper. If they have been, Great! That is entirely in keeping with the core message. Unfortunately nowhere is this acknowledged. Perhaps the paper is just grey (and cheap?) after all. As I said: some strange decisions by Scholastic.
But to dwell on these imperfections would be to do this publication a grave injustice.
There are only 64 pages and each is devoted to a single section or topic. The topics are headed with a suitably provocative exhortation: You Can… in keeping with concept of the whole series. The message is then dissected by means of a bulleted list of Tips, Ideas and Activities. These are all very practical and seek to involve as many members of the school community as possible including children, staff and parents.
In addition, each page bears a Thinking Points box. It gives details of the underpinning science or a review of current understanding. These points can be used to help clarify the reader’s own thinking or, perhaps, to help the reader engage with others.
Again, most pages have links to relevant internet sites: thus providing further means of research and resources.
Breaking the subject matter down into single page sections in this way is a very empowering technique. It allows schools to dip in and work in ways that suit their own situation. A school could incorporate a single topic in its Development Plan or a broad range. There are topics suitable for the short, medium and long term. There are areas for individual teachers (and their classes) to take on board as well as particular interest groups such as Governors and parents.
At the end of the book there are eight photocopiable masters in the form of questionnaires. These can also be used for facilitating discussions, or even as checklists ensuring that the breadth of the subject matter is explored.
Overall, I found this to be a very thought provoking and inspiring book. It addresses key concepts in an accessible way and encourages the reader to think about doing more to improve the greenness of their school.
If I were to be very critical I might rearrange the chapters. Particularly, Chapter 4: You Can Have a Global Perspective, would perhaps have been better towards the end thus mirroring a development from local action to a wider implication. However, this is not a book to be read in a linear way. It invites the reader to dip in and derive their own links between topics. Anthony David is to be congratulated on this and I would recommend all schools obtain a copy.
------------------------------ Best wishes, Neil