Activity for ‘Pou and Miri Tackle Climate Change’

Pou and Miri Tackle Climate Change

by Dom Sansom

A story about a young boy, Pou, who lives on Iteni Island in the Pacific.  One day he meets Miri – a fruit bat who has lost her home when a forest is chopped down to make way for a new road. Pou sets out to help Miri find her mother and a new home, and along the way he learns a great deal about how to tackle climate change. Key messages in the story are:

  • reduce the cutting down of forests
  • stop burning forest and bushland
  • walk or cycle instead of travelling by car or bus
  • practice agroforestry (putting plants and trees together on purpose to maximise growth potential)
  • keep soil covered with trees and vegetation, especially on slopes
  • look after and protect our mangroves
  • keep coral reefs healthy

This book was nominated because it tackles issues of global warming.

Please note that these activities are suggestions which have not yet been trialled. We welcome any feedback on how they play out in the classroom (see the feedback section).

Activity: TACKLING CLIMATE CHANGE (Science/ Social Sciences)

Curriculum Level

2 & 3 (see curriculum links at the end of the activity)

NZC Key Competencies

  • thinking
  • using language, symbols and text
  • relating to others
  • participating and contributing
  • managing self

Description

 This book was created to support the SPC/GIZ Coping with Climate Change in the Pacific Island Region Programme. It helps the reader to identify what they can actively do to slow down the process of climate change, as well as providing some good illustrations of what climate change is, and what it looks like.

1. Read the first page, which describes what climate change is, and gives some examples of what it looks like.In pairs or small groups, ask students to discuss:

  • what is climate change?
  • discuss some examples of what climate change looks like (5 examples are given in the text: longer dry seasons, more rainfall in the wet season, hotter days, warmer oceans and higher sea levels)
  • why is it important that we do what we can to help slow down climate change?
  • what do you think we might be able to do to help slow down this process?

2. Share ideas back as a class. As children come up with suggestions for how we might be able to help, write these up on the board.

3. Begin reading the story. Have children keep notes as you read. Ask them to write down ideas given in the story as you read, about how people can help to slow down climate change.

  • At the back of the book, some useful questions are provided, which could be used to generate discussion about the issues raised in the story.

4. After reading, share back ideas “collected” by students in their notes. Add suggestions not identified earlier and make links between children’s initial ideas and ideas presented in the story.

Hopefully students should have identified the following ways of helping to slow down climate change:

  • reduce the cutting down of forests and trees
  • stop burning forest and bushland
  • walk or cycle instead of travelling by car or bus
  • practice agroforestry (putting plants and trees together on purpose to maximise growth potential)
  • keep soil covered with trees and vegetation, especially on slopes
  • look after and protect our mangroves
  • keep coral reefs healthy

5. Establish that climate change and rising sea levels are a very real threat to people living in the Pacific Islands.

  • The Stuck There Forever Boat by Gillian Torckler is a good book to share at this stage, as it tells the story of a Pacific Island family who lose their home and are forced to leave their island as a result of rising sea levels.

Although climate change is not affecting New Zealand in quite the same way (at this time), it is still a concern for us and something that we should all be aware of. We all need to take action where we can.

5. As a follow up activity, students could be divided into small groups and each investigate one action from the list in detail. They should use information provided in the story, as well as internet and library research to find out more.

They could present their findings as a poster to be displayed in the classroom and around the school, thus encouraging others to take action against climate change as well.

Materials

  • several copies of Pou and Miri Tackle Climate Change
  • paper for note taking
  • large paper and felts for poster making
  • internet and library access

Curriculum Links

 SciencePlanet Earth and Beyond

  • explore and describe natural features and resources (Level 2)
  • describe how natural features are changed and resources affected by natural events and human actions (Level 2)
  • appreciate that water, air, rocks and soil, and life forms make up our planet and recognize that these are also Earth’s resources (Level 3)
  • investigate the water cycle and its effects on climate, landforms and life (Level 3)

Living World

  • explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to environmental changes, both natural and human-induced (Level 3)

Social Sciences

  • understand how time and change affect people’s lives (Level 2)
  • understand how places influence people and people influence places (Level 2)
  • understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources (Level 3)

Links to other PPBC books

The Stuck There Forever Boat by Gillian Torckler– this book also deals with climate change and rising sea levels