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Anyone had experience organizing a high schoo environmental

 
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BigZen



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:23 pm    Post subject: Anyone had experience organizing a high schoo environmental Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,

I teach high school and want to try to organize an environmental club. Has anyone out there had any such experience? Also, has anyone done any special activities in the classroom to raise awareness about global issues? For example, doing classroom lesson activities on World Hunger Day?

Sincerely,

BZ
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BigZen



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SORRY about the typo in the topic subject line! I meant to say high school not high schoo
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BigZen



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 5:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Again,

Actually, any experience at any level of education(elementary to post-secondary) would also be most appreciated.

Sincerely,

BigZen
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mitsui



Joined: 10 Jun 2007
Posts: 658
Location: Kawasaki

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This does not happen much before university, but I have a class that deals with global issues at the university level.
The students have to learn about global issues as part of their international relations major.

Certain topics like global warming are difficult since the vocabulary is tough.
I have to hand out translated copies of relevant vocabulary.
Most of the students have already studied in the US for five months.
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aynnej



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 53
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Global issues are tough at the high school level, both because of their limited knowledge on such issues, and their limited English vocabulary. I used to teach a media class to adults that focused on world events, and we used a text called CNN News Express. It had audio CD's and transcripts of world news segments. It would be way too hard for a high school class, but I noticed that Kinokuniya has a "yasashii" version -- http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/guest/cgi-bin/search.cgi At the very least, it might give you some ideas for topics to cover.

One other resource -- the BBC has a pretty good website for EFL learners and teachers. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/

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aynnej



Joined: 03 May 2008
Posts: 53
Location: Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, I noticed the link for the search for the CNN book didn't work. Try going to http://bookweb.kinokuniya.co.jp/ and typing "CNN English Express" and "CNN News Digest" in the search bar.
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What do you want the club to do? I presume you are an ALT in a typical public school. Is that right?

Bear in mind, too, that another club in a HS means more work for students whose main goal is basically to study for college entrance exams.
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 926
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hmmm... I think you need to set your goal low to start. Maybe yo ucan teach about how to say the different animals and then talk about which ones are "endangered". Wink I used sonme pocket flash cards I bought in Kinokuniya and we started by just saying what type of animal it was and then students have to give three hints about it, "It is a meat eater. It is orange and black. It lives in Siberia" *ping* "Is it a tiger?" *ping pong* "Yes that's right!" Wink Then I used some worksheets I found on the internet about animals and their environment and then maybe you can open up the topic for studnets to think about the issues they are interested in and maybe brainstoem some eonvironmantal issues like human population (ARe there too many people in the world? Is Japan's loe birth rate good or bad? Where should we grow out food? What about Fukushima? Should we use coal or nuclear power?) Maybe something like that but if it gets too techniacal then maybe it will not work for some students. Also be careful not to preach. Wink
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1104
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you want to organize an environmental club, or an English club with a focus on environmental issues? You didn't say.

Have you looked at the JALT special interest group that treats Global Issues? The newsletter back issues are here -
http://www.jalt.org/global/newsletter/issue.htm

A few years ago, I followed the No Impact Project and challenged my senior high school students to try it -
http://noimpactproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/10/No-Impact-Experiment-How-To-Manual1.pdf

The language level of No Impact Project is probably too high for your students, right? I cut and pasted parts of the text to suit local needs and my learners' language level. We didn't follow the rigid timeline. We did what we could when we could, and then talked about it casually, not part of a lesson.
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BigZen



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Everyone,

Thanks very much for taking the time to reply to my question. Yes, I agree with Glenski that maybe my high school students might be more concerned with their university entrance exams than an environmental club. I am a full-time teacher at a high school. Maybe I should direct my efforts to something in the community. I have done a little research and have not found any NPOs who do environmental work in my town.

I am really just trying to do something a little extra here where I live. I was considering trying to get a letter writing campaign started for Amnesty International, perhaps through the church I go to. I have been involved in a letter writing project where you correspond by snail mail with prisoners in US prisons; some on death row and some serving life sentences. I am not sure if people in my church or community would be interested in getting involved in something like this. Of course they have to write in English. I have found the experience rewarding and the men I write to are extremely appreciative.

Well, sorry for rambling. I guess I am just trying to make things a little better since Japan has been VERY good to me.

BZ
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Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BigZen wrote:
I have been involved in a letter writing project where you correspond by snail mail with prisoners in US prisons; some on death row and some serving life sentences.
I would seriously doubt that you'd find any adults, let alone HS kids, who would not be afraid of such a thing, and to ask them to do any writing in English would be asking far too much. On that latter point, take it from someone who has taught in a private HS and is now in uni teaching writing.

Quote:
I have found the experience rewarding
You are probably far more religious than the Japanese you would run into, certainly the majority of any. That in itself will play a role in their (lack of) motivation.

You also did not answer Liz. Was this club supposed to be environmental in nature and using Japanese language, or an English language club?
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BigZen



Joined: 19 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi TokyoLiz,

Sorry for not answering your question. I am more interested in an environmental club.


BZ
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Cool Teacher



Joined: 18 May 2009
Posts: 926
Location: Here, There and Everywhere! :D

PostPosted: Thu Jul 26, 2012 11:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I totally agree with Mr Glesnki here, Bigzen. I think anyone in Japan you ask to write letters to murderers in prison in the US will go like "WHAAAAAT!?!?" Shocked There are prisoners in Japan who are on death row too and most Japanese would NEVER write to them. If you ask a group of studnets or adults for their opinon on the death penalty my experience is 100 per cent (or maybe 99 per cent) of all people think it is a very good idea and are very happy about the death pentaly. There are surely some expections because I everyehere has people who think differently but most of the time people in Japan think criminals deserve punshiment. That's a fact.

If you want to do some social activism then I suggest you preserve it for your church and keep it out of school. If you take it to the school then some people might think you are preahing morals especially ones that many people don't agree with. Sorry for the negative comments. Embarassed

Cool
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TokyoLiz



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Posts: 1104
Location: Tokyo, Japan

PostPosted: Sat Jul 28, 2012 12:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If your focus is environmental issues, get involved with an NPO in your area. Ask the school board about programs. The city I work in has a handful of NPOs that protect local forests and waterways and provide outreach to schools and children's groups. The city's parks provide recreation programs that emphasize environmental issues. Tokyo has a lot of activity.

There are events and projects for youth all over Japan. Check out Japan for Sustainability http://www.japanfs.org/en/

I wouldn't even mention writing letters to death row inmates to church members, never mind students, without first examining the history of capital punishment and attitudes about death. In the Edo Period, whole villages were executed if one villager was found guilty of a crime. And by Japanese reckoning, Edo Period was a short time ago.
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