Learning with Global Ideas

Global Ideas learning packs for children and young people; Photo: Deutsche Welle

Global Ideas learning packs for children and young people; Photo: Deutsche Welle

As the new school year gets under way, children in Germany and around the world are exploring a new learning pack. ‘Plastic waste and its environmental impact’ is the first of 10 learning packs that will be launched by 2022 to tackle key aspects of climate change and environmental protection. The packs are being compiled by the Global Ideas team at German broadcaster Deutsche Welle as part of the German Environment Ministry (BMU)’s International Climate Initiative (IKI).

When its multimedia reporting project was launched in May 2017, with new funding from the IKI, Deutsche Welle sought new ways of getting children and young people around the world interested in climate change mitigation and species diversity. In collaboration with Germany’s Independent Institute for Environmental Issues (UfU e.V.), it devised the idea of Global Ideas learning packs.

Students aged between 12 and 16 use the practical examples included in the first pack, ‘Plastic waste and its environmental impact’, to research the issue of plastics in detail and to identify ways of making changes to their own behaviour and that of their family and friends. They explore, for example, whether a ‘plastic-free’ week could work or whether eco-friendly plastic made from seaweed could replace traditional plastic.

The learning pack comprises a booklet with worksheets, photocopiable materials, picture cards, videos and posters; Photo: Deutsche Welle

The packs are available free of charge to educational institutions and include videos, photos and background articles. An accompanying booklet provides teachers with the necessary information and materials.

Stocks of the German-language print version of the first pack, ‘Plastic waste and its environmental impact’, ran out almost immediately. Most of the demand came from developing countries and emerging economies. Goethe-Instituts, libraries, local schools and NGOs have also taken up the offer.

Learning packs are available in print and online versions in German, English und Spanish. The online versions are free to download and print.

The second learning pack will be published in late 2018 and will focus on the threats facing the forest ecosystem.