Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Disucator: Circle of Life

While we go to Walt Disney World for fun and entertainment, we may not always realize that we are learning as well.  One of the places that I am able to learn the most is at Epcot…maybe that’s why it is my second favorite park, only just behind Magic Kingdom.  A lot of places in Epcot can be used as a classroom; learning about energy and forces in Ellen’s Energy Adventure, the science behind car tests at Test Track, marine life at The Seas with Nemo and Friends and so much more! I have some lesson ideas for these, but those are for a later time, the lesson I have in mind for today actually comes from The Land pavilion.

I know, we all wish we could just take our classroom on a field trip to Disney to teach them things, and those of you who live in the Orlando area may be able to do just that.  For the rest of us though who are not so close, we have to find ways to bring aspect of the park that we want to share into the classrooms.  This has become so much easier with the invention of Youtube.  We are now able to bring attractions and movies straight to our classrooms and teach the meanings from there.  The lesson I have in mind today comes from just such a video, the Circle of Life film from The Land.

Subject: Science
Grade: Adaptable for any grade, but lets say 2nd to 4th for this specific lesson
Unit Title: Environment
Lesson: Human’s Impact and How to reduce it
Estimated time period: 45 minutes

By the end of this lesson, students should be familiar with the different impact humans have had on the Earth and different ways to solve them.

Materials: Youtube Video of The Circle of Life 

1. Write the words pollution, extinct, and smog on the board.
2. Ask the children to write down what they know about these words.
3. Go over these words with them, what they mean and how they can affect them and the Earth.
4. Play The Circle of Life and let the movie further explain the concepts to the children.
5. After watching the film, ask the students what they learned from the video. Talk about the different ways humans are working towards making the Earth a better, healthier place to live.
6. Have the students write down ways that they can help their environment

Extension ideas:
- Grow a Garden with your class
- Plant some trees
- Begin a recycling program in your class or school
- Go on a nature hike
- Study ways your town is helping the environment and ways they could improve it, have them write letters to your town council about their ideas on helping the environment

Making our students conscious about the problems in our environment and ways that they can make a difference is important for our future.   If we are to continue to improve the Earth’s condition, we must make it an everyday part of our children’s lives now.

Until our next lesson, Class Dismissed!

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