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hunt is thus twofold: for the students to first discover, in a non-threatening or judgmental way, the simple fact that these everyday objects and activities contribute to climate change and to give students opportunity to think of ways of using or doing things differently so that their environmental impact is reduced. The treasure hunt was first conducted as part of a ‘Climate

ChangeWeek’ at a rural boarding school in Maharashtra, India, which is attended by over 250 students in Grades 4-10, mostly from middle-class, urban families. Over the course of four morning assemblies, the entire school body was introduced to various aspects of climate change through a short documentary depicting the possible effects of global warming on India, a Power Point presentation, and short videos from YouTube showing what various individuals around the world were doing in their lives to lessen their contribution to climate change. Additionally, twenty state- ments about climate change were posted around the school. By the end of the four-day event, students had to decide which statements were true or false according to what they discovered from the morning presentations and their own research. The first clue for the treasure hunt was read aloud at the

end of the first morning’s assembly and students had three days to discover the additional clues that would lead them to twenty different locations. Students were told that whenever they found a location they had to decide first whether it had a positive (+) or negative (–) impact on climate change and why. If negative, they were asked to come up with some ideas of how the place or object could be adapted or used in a way that would make its impact more positive. All of the students had previously been exposed to some

amount of formal or informal Environmental Education but it was only during this week that most of them came to really consider the identity and sources of the main green- house gases and to pay attention to fossil fuels as being our main source of energy—the two key areas of knowledge needed for the treasure hunt to succeed. Planning a class that informs students about the main greenhouse gases and how they are produced is thus the only actual pre-teaching that needs to be conducted if teachers are limited in how much time they can spend on this topic. Be forewarned that students will want to embark on this

hunt immediately after hearing the first clue, so timing is very important here. At our school—perhaps mistakenly— we made the announcement at the end of the Saturday morn- ing assembly, with classes stretching out until lunchtime, after which students were free. Thankfully, many teachers considered this activity educational enough to cancel their planned classes that morning or else there might have been some form of riot among Grades 4-7 who talked of little else for the next three days!

Treasure Hunt Activity

1. The first step in preparing for the treasure hunt is to walk around the entire campus and note all the places you can find that are directly or indirectly connected to climate change, and which are readily accessible to students, taking into consideration the students’ height. If possible, try to strike a balance between outside and indoor loca-

tions and to make sure the locations are not too similar or repetitious.Walking around with a list of the direct or indirect sources of GHGs and noting down locations under each heading will help to make sure your final selection is made from a variety of possible locations, such as electrical appliances, transport, heaters/coolers, gas cookers, wood and paper products, heated water, lights, incinerators, generators, and garbage.

2. The second step is to select a number of ‘positive’ locations: the natural and human made objects that are alleviating the increase of GHGs. On our campus this added a whole range of new locations: trees, solar water heaters, the vermiculture and composting piles, the organic garden, the biogas unit, the CFL bulb in the principal’s office and the recycling bins. Obviously, schools with hybrid vehicles, solar panels, double glazing, insulation and wood or paper products made from sustainably managed forests will be able to add to their list of possible ‘positive’ loca- tions. Other possibilities may include energy or waste- saving systems, or items such as local, organic food and paper made from sustainable forests or that is recycled.

3. Make a list of what could be done differently—or what alternatives exist that would at least alleviate the impact of the ‘negative’ locations you choose—and include this in the ‘rules’ of the hunt, as this will allow for one of the key needs of environmental education, which is to chal- lenge students to devise solutions as they learn about the problems! Based on the above and what was in place on our

campus, we chose the following locations to paste our clues:

• A tree between two classrooms • Art room • Carpentry/repair workshop • School copy machine • Junior assembly room with 12 overhead ceiling fans • Liquified petroleum gas (LPG) container storage area • Vermiculture pile • decommissioned school incinerator • recycling bins • one of the school vehicles. We also chose the solar water heaters, compost bin

in the organic garden, a general garbage bin, the school laundry room, the electric generator, the CFL bulb in the principal’s office and the school shop.

4. Writing the clues is both fun and challenging! We tried to make them short one-liners, that were understandable but not too difficult nor too easy for all students in grades 4-10.We also tried to include enough information that clearly pinpointed one specific location, though they could be mixed up with another place if not considered carefully. You may wish to have a trial run with other teachers to see if they can guess the locations from the clues. Alternatively, if you decide to use student monitors


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