Nature-based solutions have the potential to bring numerous benefits to a range of sustainability challenges facing cities. While contributing to economic activities and social well-being, they can help limit the effects of climate change, increase biodiversity and improve environmental quality.
For this purpose, we wanted to involve our students in green solutions at an early age. Thus, they will be familiar with the issue of green space spread and will be able to contribute to building a sustainable, healthy, and resilient city that is better adapted to climate change.
To do this, “Let’s make our school a Growing place!” We did activities in the classroom using the learning scenario. One of 15 original NBS Learning Scenarios.
School: Konya Ereğli Science and Art Center, Turkey
Participants: 8 years old – 20 students
Application: 04 – 15 April 2021
Subject Science, Art, BT, English
Subject: Green spaces and urban transformation
Integration into the curriculum:
- To have compassionate and respectful attitudes towards the natural and social environment.
- Observing important moments in the life of plants.
- texts with visual support.
- Interacting with a partner (to ask and tell).
- Copying and writing words and simple sentences.
- Develop a comprehensive vocabulary repertoire within context.
Art and ICT:
- Use computers, tablets, and online tools.
- Observe and think.
- Create and design.
Purpose of the Event
- Contributing to students’ awareness of taking care of and respecting the natural environment,
- Making students sensitive about the importance of green space spread to mitigate and prevent climate change,
- Raising awareness about the potential of nature-based solutions to achieve multiple benefits in an environment,
- Various sustainability challenges faced by cities, for example: limiting the effects of climate change,
- Improving environmental quality while contributing to biodiversity, economic activities, and social activities We’re focused on their purpose.
21st century skills
- Learning and innovation skills: they provided a solution through collaboration from students.
- Critical thinking: students conducted their own research to interpret the meaning of the chosen one.
- Creativity and innovation: the learning scenario encouraged creativity and innovation by engaging students in various activities.
- Collaboration: Students had to work as a team.
Lesson 1: Presentation Of The Topic
The lesson started by watching Greta’s video. A short discussion was held about the importance of trees and nature to determine the students’ prior knowledge on the topic. Then we discussed what happened in groups in the video. Each group compared their understanding with the other groups. Finally, hypotheses were created. Hypotheses were written on the board. Later, the students drew Greta’s message and shared their drawings with their classmates.
Lesson 2: Discovering the Green Power
Lesson title: How do plants help prevent climate change and improve our cities?
What is the role of trees in preventing climate change and improving their livelihoods? To check the students’ previous knowledge of the subject, a brief discussion was held through the question. Trees provide habitat to support biodiversity, absorb carbon. Reduces dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions (climate adaptation and reduction), improves air quality, cools our cities in summer, is accessible to everyone to provide shade and recreation space, which is usually free and easy. Thus, it contributes to social Cohesity and gives happiness. Trees that are deliberately planted to provide any of these are considered nature-based solutions.
Next, students were explained to the students what wild pollinators are, (for example, bees, moths, butterflies, and insects) and their main role. Then, a presentation about the plants prepared for this learning was followed. Then, a quick test of what they know ( see Appendix 1)
In addition, through this video, they learned about photosynthesis. Watching this video, they sang photosynthesis. Then, the students filled out the annex2 form related to the photosynthesis process. Later, the memory game was used to check whether the terms of learned science were understood.
Lesson 3: Designing the Vertical Garden
This event was prompted by the following questions:
- How can we improve our healthy life at school?
- Our garden and How can we find a green solution for indoor spaces?
Brainstorming: How to solve urban and space-related problems?
After the students discussed possible school vertical garden solutions, the students were shown examples of the “vertical garden” found in annex3. Then the video of the “vertical garden” was shown and what they did was discussed. They were asked to consider the effect of the vertical garden on humans. Some other websites with vertical garden examples were visited. To better understand the video in Nature-Based Solutions, the slide show ‘Vertical Forests’ (Milan, Green Border Pilot Project and Moss for green infrastructure) and ‘Yerevan Nature-Based Solution: Kindergarten Green Wall’ were reviewed. Minecraft Education Edition has also been used for vertical garden designs.
Students drew the design of the vertical green wall using recycled materials. Finally, all projects were collected and turned into posters.
Lesson 4: Creating Our Indoor And Outdoor Vertical Wall
Students started this lesson by discussing the characteristics of different ecosystems ((internal/external), choosing between different plant species and their relatives. Each student drew his own vertical garden design. Then they voted for the best school vertical green wall design. The designs were turned into a poster with “Edu Gloster“. The students then answered the questionnaire at Annex4.
The students answered the questionnaire we created in Google forms. And they chose their favorite vertical garden design.
Lesson 5: Which Plants Can We Plant?
During this lesson, the students discussed the choice of plants to be planted. They had to consider the plants that attracted the most pollinators. Plants were studied to help this little insect. After this stage, schools in Turkey switched to distance education. Planting plants and vertical garden designs, each student carried out in his own house. We have cooperated with the parents on this issue.
As Students Planting Their Plants
The assessment was made to help students take more responsibility for content and language learning. The memory game and the matching Photosynthesis test were conducted for new scientific knowledge and other disciplines involved in the project. A questionnaire was also used to evaluate students’ information. The design of the vertical garden, which corresponds to the defined demands, represents validation and means the embodiment of the planned goals.
The results of this event are;
- They identified the benefits of plants in the ecosystem.
- They designed green solutions to urban problems.
- They explained photosynthesis in plants.
- They planted seeds and plants.
- They developed English vocabulary.
- They understood the role of plants and ecosystems in Nature Based Solutions.
- Through cooperation, the students provided a solution to the problem.
- Students carried out their own research to interpret the meaning of the chosen one.
- Students also engaged in a variety of activities that encouraged creativity and innovation.
Students especially liked the vertical garden design and pot planting activities. Turkey started distance education on 15.04.2021. For this reason, the activity of planting plants and seeds took place at home. The families carried out their vertical garden projects individually. During this phase, the parents cooperated. And the parents were very pleased with this incident. They welcomed their children’s awareness of protecting nature and helping the climate. They supported them. Students and parents were eager to contribute to nature in the future, they said they would plant trees in their own gardens.