Latin America Solidarity Centre

Introductory Activity: Environmental Problems in the World Today

AIM

For students to activate prior knowledge of vocabulary relating to environmental issues.

MATERIALS

Pictures (here).

LINKS TO THE CURRICULUM

Senior Cycle:

I. Basic Communicative Proficiency, 2, 3,

II. Language Awareness, 2

METHODOLOGY

Show the students four pictures relating to environmental problems (deforestation, air pollution, traffic pollution, plastic trash) and ask them to discuss with their partners what they see in them. If their level of Spanish is low, they can just say keywords.

Draw two lines on the whiteboard to create 4 squares – one to match with each picture. Elicit descriptions from the students of the photos, eliciting elaborations from other students who used different words/constructions. Write down relevant vocabulary in the corresponding square.

Allow the exercise to be student-centred, writing down key vocabulary as students use it, and eliciting other students to help them find words they are searching for. Allow students, and not the teacher, to decide what the vocabulary they need is. This is intended to be a sharing of student knowledge rather than teacher-centred instruction, and will allow the exercise to automatically match to your classEnglish abilities.

Then present a final question for students to discuss in pairs: ¿Qué podemos hacer para evitar estas problemas?

Monitor and elicit responses, prompting students to use the words on the whiteboard.

As a conclusion, write all of the keywords that were on the board on slips of paper and put them in a bucket/cup. Model picking one out and the explaining the word in Spanish. When a student correctly guesses it, ask him/her to pick another student to choose a word out of the hat. The person who correctly guesses the word gets to choose the next student.

CONNECTIONS WITH IRELAND AND TAKING ACTION

Invite your students to look into the school’s environmental policies and to brainstorm ways to improve it.