Monday, February 18, 2008

Environmental Education Brainstorming Workshop
Saturday I led a brainstroming session on enviromental education. This session was a collaboration between MIE, Greening Duluth and the Maison de l’Amitié. Throughout the session we brainstromed ideas for creating enviromental education activities and lessons to include in the english and french classes at Maison de l’Amitié. To start off the session we introduced ourselves and the different initives collaborating on this project. In this collaboration Maison de l’Amitié is the main actor in carrying out the enviromental education through their language classes. Greening Duluth works on the ground helping to impliment the environmental education, give teachers training opportunities and provide new materials and ideas for curriculum. MIE acts as a facilitator, questioning western-enviromental assumptions, maintaining cross-cultural enviromental awareness the curriculum, as well as contributing ideas for curriculum.

Towards the middle of our time together, the group of 17 broke into 4 groups to brainstorm on concrete lesson plans for the 4 levels of classes. Here’s an example of one lesson plan for an intermediate class. It involves each student bringing an object from home and presenting the object by tracing history of an object (the raw materials used to make it, the place it was made, how it got to be where it was bought). To dicuss the history of the object they would have to practice the past tenses. Next student could discuss, using the present how they are using the object. Lastly, using the future tenses, students would consider the future of the object, what will happen when they are done using it.

We concluded the workshop by sharing our ideas and giving feedback. Next, participants from the workshop will compile more detailed lesson plans. Then we’ll meet again in March to give feedback and finish the final drafts of lesson plans we well as look at how we can go beyond just lesson plans and broaden the scope of our activiites.

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