Procedure Ask students why it might be important to understand the current situation at the school. List the students’ responses. Sort responses and ask students to give reasons for their suggestions. Explain to the students that in later stages of the unit they will be developing a proposal for improved sustainability at the school.
Encourage students to brainstorm what investigations or surveys they might need to undertake to understand the school’s carbon footprint and opportunities to adapt to climate challenges. Invite students to consider questions like:
How they might survey classes and teachers about their use of water or energy; disposal of waste products such as paper, food scraps and packaging; use of transport; and foods eaten?
How might they collect the ideas and voices of students and teachers about ways the school might adapt to a changing climate?
Who the people or stakeholders are at the school that they might need to consult to find out more about how they manage the school spaces that impact on the school’s carbon footprint.
How can we increase sustainability in our school while reducing greenhouse gas emissions?
What might need to change in the school and why?
Explain to the students that in the next part of the unit they will be investigating the current situation at the school and undertaking a survey of their choosing, i.e. an energy survey, water survey, waste survey, travel survey and/or biodiversity survey.
Encourage students to brainstorm ways that they think this might be possible.
Follow up Complete the engaging and exploring phases of the unit by brainstorming the students’ response to the question: What do we think needs to change in our school about our carbon footprint and why? How can we adapt our lifestyles to cope with the changes to the climate that we are experiencing?