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How to instil the Sustainable Development Goals in children

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How to instil the Sustainable Development Goals in children

These practical ideas are very useful for educating the adults of the future in human and environmental values. The most important thing is to set an example every day in the classroom and at home

In 2015, under the umbrella of the UN, a number of world leaders adopted a set of global goals to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity. This set of 17 goals was called the 'Sustainable Development Goals'.

Not only governments, but also civil society and the private sector must take a stake in these goals if we are to transform the world. Therefore, educational intervention with this perspective is essential to educate the adults of the future.

The best way to learn is through experimentation. For this reason, at St. George British International School we provide you with some practical ideas to apply in class that help to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.


1. Planting, harvesting and enjoying the outdoors

One of the most beautiful and interesting activities we can do in the classroom is to care for a living organism. Goal 15 refers to the care of terrestrial ecosystems. Well, planting a seed allows the child to appreciate the value of plant life. Simply plant a lentil, chickpea or similar in a small container, water a little and wait for it to grow.

It is also a good idea to go to urban gardens in a series of continuous visits throughout the school year that allow for planting and harvesting. Observing the whole process allows the child to understand the value of food and how many children like them cannot afford to eat as much as they would need in a day. This activity connects to the value of nutrition, which aligns with goals 1, 2 and 3 on eradicating hunger, poverty and promoting healthy living. Moreover, if this trip to the garden is combined with some outdoor exercise, we will be offering a very complete and enriching educational experience.

This type of activity will inevitably develop the child's love and respect for nature in all its forms and the desire to lead a healthy life.


2. Educating in emotions for peace and equality

Objectives 5, 10, 16 and 17 refer to values such as equal opportunities, fraternity, peace and gender equality. These values can be instilled on a day-to-day basis in group activities such as an assembly. Here, we can show how we feel each day. Taking turns, each child can express himself or herself and, in turn, will have to listen to what the other child has to say. In this way, the value of respect and attention to those who are different will be reinforced every day. Then, in the rest of the daily activities, equal opportunities and the reduction of stereotypes should be promoted at all times (for example, children should be free to choose what they want to play).

In addition, taking advantage of world days such as Peace Day or Friend's Day can be a good time to do activities oriented towards these values and further reinforce our commitment to them: for example, drawing a peace dove or going out together to form a choir and recite messages or sing songs.


3. Educating in sustainable habits

Points 6, 11, 12 and 13 aim to move towards a more sustainable world. Waste management, water management and responsible consumption are some of the values that can be instilled from an early age.

For example, doing activities in class with recycled packaging can be a good way to show children how things can have a second life: from classic crafts to songs, games and pictograms about reusing and reducing waste.

Of course it is very important to set an example and take advantage of every daily activity to apply these values, such as teaching them to turn off the water tap when it is not being used or showing them how to separate rubbish.


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