Sunday, May 17, 2009

Studying about the environment

This post is a follow up to the one I wrote on GEP Social Studies. Apart from learning about Singapore's history, the kids also study other modules like one on Man and the Environment in p5.

They really go into detail, from discussing how energy needs cause environmental problems to renewable resources, from climate change and global warming to how cities are working on green efforts for more sustainable development.

The biggest takeaway from this module I find is the lesson that human beings' actions have consequences on the environment. This raises awareness of the interdependence between the physical and human environments, and promotes environmental conservation efforts which I guess they hope these kids will carry through to adulthood.

This is a worksheet that they had to do (after reading a story), underscoring the cause and effect relationship between humans and the environment.

Reproduced here: (Lesley-Anne's answers are in blue)

The Greatest Environmental Crisis Ever for Humanity

Using what you have learnt from the story, complete the worksheet to illustrate how a particular generalization is true.

1. "An effect can be the result of multiple causes with different degrees of influence". Identify the causes of climate change.

- Deforestation --> climate change
- Large scale burning of fossil fuels --> greenhouse effect --> global warming

2. "Causes can trigger simple effects or chain of related effects". Give an example of a simple effect and a chain of related effects of climate change.

- global temperature increase --> melting of glaciers (simple effect)
- eractic weather --> increase frequency of draughts and floods --> destroy agriculture --> disruption of global food supplies (chain effects)

3. "Causes may have predictable and unpredictable effects". Give an example of a predictable effect and an unpredictable effect of climate change.

- global temperature increase --> spread of infectious disease to higher latitutes (predictable effect)
- climate change --> social and political conflict --> environmental refugees (unpredictable effect)

4. "Causes have short-term and long-term effects". Give an example of a short-term effect and long-term effect of climate change.

- climate change --> destroy natural habitat (short-term effect)
- climate change --> extinction of animal and plant species (long-term effect)


Veronica_L said...

Wow! Personally I was impressed with what Lesley-Anne managed to come up with. Reading past entries with her work I have always been amazed by her genius.

They learn about this in P5? I can't even write a generalisation, let alone explain it.

What was the story about? Sounds very interesting, do you think they would accept me if I requested to join her class?

monlim said...

Veronica: It was a news article on climate change, detailing the environmental issues over the last 50 years and what global communities and governments are doing to tackle the problem.

Haha, L-A is far from being a genius lah! I think it's just that they are exposed to much more life issues at a younger age :)

Anonymous said...

Errrr..Mon, please tell L-A I fall flat on my face...Aunty catch no ball...too cheem... please look after the environment for us ok? Gam sia.. :)


monlim said...

QX: LMAO!! Yalah, we're the generation that killed the environment, now we're leaving it to our kids to undo what we've done :D

Anonymous said...

Mon: Sigh..Unfortunately our generation do not have enough time left to redeem so much that have been will take a few generations, what L-A gen can do now is to slow down the destruction....and I am looking forward to radical inventions by this genius generation to help with the "undo" feature. :D


Anonymous said...

Mon, this is one of my older gal's favourite topic. L_A did such a good job in answering the questions. The answer were shorts but straight to the point, perfect!

My gal was so engrossed in this topic, I think she spent at least a couple of month in reading up. Yes, she is that silly, can read & read on a particular topic for months,....*sigh*. She did find some interesting reads though, which I have never even knew they exist. Example, The Global Seed Vault, a place that holds duplicate samples of seeds held in genebanks worldwide. That was when she asked if there were a vault for animals. Suprisingly, we found The Frozen Ark, a charity organisation that try to preserve animals' DNA.

I wonder if they also preserve humans DNA too. I think the world is going crazy....


Anonymous said...

I used to do environment-related research and I think it's excellent they are including this as a topic in the school curriculum. I have two children, the elder is turning 5. Like everything else, the subject can certainly be made comprehensible to children and MOE should really extend the topic to ALL children. I believe this is so in some other countries with a more progressive curriculum, and other than lack of human resource, there's no reason why it can't be done here. Grades should have no bearings on general knowledge.

monlim said...

Chris: The environment is of great interest to many kids, I would encourage it! If anything, even just to make them aware of the gravity of the whole issue and what we can do to love the environment more.

Anon: I agree! Certain topics are not graded but equally important. I think kids have far more open minds than adults so it would do them good to be exposed to such global issues early.

Lilian said...

The IB curriculum here in the boys' school in Moscow is big on protecting the environment but I doubt any kid here will be able to write the causes and effects so succinctly the way L-A did. It shows the depth of her thinking and probably her passion in the subject. I can totally see her as a greenpeace advocate!

monlim said...

Lilian: I don't know if you're giving her too much credit cos I don't know what was taught! Maybe the teacher did go through some of these points in class? *shrug* But the lessons have definitely made a big impact cos L-A is a total greenie :)

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