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Think climate change out of the box- make forest change a tangible experience for students
Author: Haus des Waldes, Stuttgart, Germany
ow are our forests faring in the face of climate change? How can children and young people assess the consequences of their own actions for the forest and the climate and take action themselves?
Forest educators from ForstBW (www.forstbw.de), together with the Haus des Waldes Stuttgart (www.hausdeswaldes.de) have developed a local and state-wide task package on the topic of forests and climate (change) for school classes, which is available to schools in Baden-Württemberg free of charge.
The „Waldbox“ (forestbox)
The „Waldbox“ is a car trailer that can be moved to a forest nearby a school along with specially trained foresters from ForstBW and the Landesforstverwaltung (State Forestry Administration). It is a real treasure trove for educators who are interested in nature experiences and action-oriented learning in the forest.
In addition to tools for practical forest and woodwork, materials for nature observation and research projects and a fire bowl for joined snack breaks around the campfire, it also contains activities on more than 100 forest topics. On this basis, forest-based educators plan attractive half-day or full-day learning opportunities and projects for different age groups (www.waldbox-bw.de).
The holistic learning opportunities enable the application and interdisciplinary linking of content- and process-related competencies, as well as the promotion of the teaching perspective Education for Sustainable Developement (ESD) according to the current educational plans. They also strengthen the students' social and personal skills.
By means of perception exercises, scientific working methods, playful and creative approaches, the current topic of "climate change", which already occupies students intensively, can be implemented practically and vividly in the forest. The following competencies in particular are promoted:
- Recognizing phenomena of climate change
- Developing sustainable solutions and actively participating in sustainable development, changing perspectives.
- Planning, acting and working cooperatively in a team
- Reflecting on and communicating one's own convictions and ideas
- Recognizing and evaluating consequences of own behaviour for the forest
- Recognizing and evaluating causes of anthropogenic climate change
- Recognizing dependencies and interrelationships of different interest groups
- Recognizing plant species and evaluating tree species suitability