Learn about Projects International Resources for TeachersLearn about projects happening now  !Contact Projects International Members

Target: high school EFL / sustainable business course / Intermediate English level

Time: 100 minutes

Warm Up (Jungle Run): Give each student a card with a picture of a tree, mushroom, deer or insect. Students sit on chairs in a circle, with one person standing in the middle. Person in the middle calls out a card. Ex. "Deer." All people with deer cards and the person in the middle must run to find a new chair. If the person in the middle calls "Jungle Run" everyone must change. Person left without a chair is the next caller. (NB. This is a fun adaptation of the language game 'Fruit Basket' I have used it in Japan and Thailand with both students and teachers and it always creates a fun atmosphere)

Making Groups: Ask the students to get into groups using the cards from Jungle Run. Possibly the students will break into homogenous groups (ex. All deer together) If this happens, ask what the deer will eat? Possibly the students will break into heterogeneous groups (ex. Tree, deer, mushroom, insect) If this happens, ask how the deer will reproduce? Groups can be any mixture of cards, but students need to think about alternatives.

Jigsaw Reading (Sustainable Development): In their new groups (ideally of four students each) assign each with a letter - A, B, C, or D. In the four corners of the room, post the following definitions of Sustainable Development:

A) "For the business enterprise, sustainable development means adopting business strategies and activities that meet the needs of the enterprise and its stakeholders today while protecting, sustaining and enhancing the human and natural resources that will be needed in the future"

B) "Sustainability is an economic state where the demands placed upon the environment by people and commerce can be met without reducing the capacity of the environment to provide for future generations. It can also be expressed in the simple terms of an economic golden rule for the restorative economy: Leave the world better than you found it, take no more than you need, try not to harm life or the environment, make amends if you do."

C) "Sustainable development is a process rather than a fixed goal...It is a complex concept, involving social justice, equity and concern for the future, as well as environmental and development issues."

D) "A development or general pattern of change within and among communities, societies, or cultures is ecologically sustainable if it is compatible with restoring and maintaining the richness and diversity of planetary life (in the broadest sense)."

Students have 1 minute to go to their assigned reading and skim the text. Report to the group on general idea of what they read. After sharing ideas, students have 5 minutes to scan the text to answer:

Is there a bias either toward or against economic growth and technology?

Are humans "separate" from nature, or a "part" of nature?

Who do you think is giving the definition - Banker? Politician? Teacher? Green Peace Activist?

Does it sound reasonable to you?

Report to the group on specific ideas of what they read and answers to questions. (NB. Jigsaw activities are a wonderful method to make serious content or difficult text, enjoyable and active for students. It gets them out of their chairs and gives responsibility to everyone in the group to contribute. I used this in Thailand with a group of 100 students and had Thai teachers amazed at the students' motivation.)

Jigsaw Listening (4 Worldviews of Environmentalism): In the same groups students do jigsaw listening activity following the same procedure as above. In each corner of the room is a cassette tape with one the four worldviews on environmentalism. Before starting pre-teach specific vocabulary (technocentrism, ecocentrism, etc.)

A) Optimistic Technocentrism - believes that the free market and technological innovation will provide unlimited resources to solve our problems. Growth is good.

B) Cautious Technocentrism - believes in the free market and technology, but recognizes limitations. Promotes conservation and resource management to efficiently solve our problems. Managed-growth is good.

C) Red / Green- believes in preservation of nature and constraining economic growth. Promotes decentralised socio-economic systems. Socially beneficial and ecologically benign growth is good.

D) Deep Green - believes in extreme preservation of nature (the world would probably be better off without humans). Promotes spiritual value and rights of non-human species. Only necessary growth is good.

Students have 1 minute to go to their assigned cassette and listen once without stopping the tape. Report to the group on general idea of what they heard. After sharing ideas, students have 5 minutes to play, stop and review the cassette to answer:

Is there a bias either toward or against economic growth and technology?

Are humans "separate" from nature, or a "part" of nature?

Who do you think is giving the definition - Banker? Politician? Teacher? Environmental Activist?

Does it sound reasonable to you?

Report to the group on specific ideas of what they read and answers to questions.

Draw the Issues Students sit in four groups. Ask students to fold a large poster paper (at least A3) into 3 sections. A B C

A
B
C

First have the groups draw a picture defining environment in A. After they have been drawing for a while ask students to also draw themselves in the picture. Where do they belong? What are they doing? They can draw lines and arrows to show interconnectedness of different parts of the picture. Ask students to label important parts of the picture (use L1/L2 dictionaries as necessary - write words in notebooks for future reference)

Next, repeat for section C, but have students draw economy.

Finally, give each of the groups one of the definitions for sustainable development form the jigsaw reading activity above. Have groups draw their definition of sustainable development in section B to balance between environment and economy. After groups are finished, present posters to each other and their word lists.

Discuss how the different definitions of sustainable development changed the pictures in section B.

(NB. Animation is extremely popular in Japan and Thailand! Student love the chance to draw and express their ideas without worrying about English structure. Labelling of picture allows the students to discover what vocabulary they need to explain their picture. Always insist that students write vocabulary in their notebooks to help in acquiring the new words)

 

Learn about Projects International Resources for TeachersLearn about projects happening now  !Contact Projects International Members