In early July, for the first time, I went into to lead some workshops Teaching Children Conservation Through Art at Primary School level in West Sussex. I commenced our workshops by looking into the effects of plastic pollution in our seas and oceans to complement the global movement of ‘Plastic Free July’, and the schools ‘Blue Planet’ week.
As I’m sure you know, plastic pollution is the accumulation of plastic objects in the earth’s environment that has detrimental effects on wildlife, wildlife habitats and humans (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_pollution).
Three billion metric tonnes of plastic has been produced globally, and it’s thought to double in the next eleven years unless we do something about it. Only 9% is recycled leaving 6.3 billion metric tonnes of plastic - resistant to degradation - to be discarded in landfills and the natural environment, which is why it’s a vital subject for future generations to be aware of (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2017/07/plastic-produced-recycling-waste-ocean-trash-debris-environment/).
Both the Reception Year, Year 1 & Year 2 were thoughtfully engaged in learning about the different types of plastics, what plastics do to marine life and how we must remember the three ‘r’s’ – reduce, reuse and recycle.
I was able to delve deeper into the subject with Year 1 & 2 children just because they were a little older, so we talked about the effects of plastics on marine life, sea birds and also humans.
The kids loved drawing at the board with me, and the artwork they produced was beautiful. Their drawings gave terrific insights into their understanding of how we can help better conserve our waters, so that going forward, marine life survives, and our oceans return to healthier states of being.
It was a wonderful week, and I was very thankful to have been of help to the children, and school, in their learnings about conservation through art.