3. Using newspaper articles to stimulate discussion
Most pupils are interested in what is happening around them and using local resources such as newspapers or radio can help to enhance your lessons.
The purpose of the Key Activity is to encourage pupils to think about how global weather changes can affect their local context, and to introduce them to the idea of global warming as a possible explanation of changes in the weather. In Case Study 3, the teacher used local news items as a starting point for teaching about the water cycle.
Once pupils are able to see the links between events, you are beginning to develop their critical thinking skills. Such insights will help them to make sense of the ever-changing world that they live in.
Case Study 3: Using local newspapers to introduce the water cycle
There had been lots of discussion about water in the local newspapers over the past week. Water restrictions had been introduced. The Kanji dam was running dry. There was crop failure in the north of the country.
Idrissu Mahama saw the opportunity to discuss issues about water supply with his class. He wrote this question on the board: ‘Where does all the rain go when the ground dries?’ and he then asked each group of pupils to talk about this for ten minutes. During this time, he went around the groups and encouraged everyone in each group to contribute their ideas.
Then Idrissu gathered his class round him and asked them to take turns to share their ideas. Together the class build up the understanding of the water cycle (see Resource 4: The water cycle).
Idrissu finished by drawing a diagram of the water cycle on the board and asking pupils to copy the diagram and label it.
Key Activity: Global warming
Read Resource 5: Global warming articles before the lesson.
Divide the class into small groups and then read the articles to the class or give each group a copy to read together.
Explain to your pupils about climate related rises in sea level (see Resource 6: Evidence of global warming in Ghana).
Ask each group to produce a poster or a short play to answer the following:
- What causes global warming?
- What effects will global warming have on the environment?
- What could we do to slow down global warming?
How will you ask pupils to evaluate their work?
You may want to share your pupils’ work on global warming with the school in an assembly.