The Week Ahead – It’s all about the Earth, the environment and us!
April 22nd is Earth Day!
Each year, Earth Day marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement, started in the USA in 1970. Although mainstream America largely remained oblivious to environmental concerns, the stage had been set for change by the publication of Rachel Carson’s New York Times bestseller Silent Spring in 1962. The book represented a watershed moment, selling more than 500,000 copies in 24 countries, and beginning to raise public awareness and concern for living organisms, the environment and links between pollution and public health.
Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channeling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment.
Fast forward to 1990 and Earth Day went global, mobilizing 200 million people in 141 countries and lifting environmental issues onto the world stage. Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to recycling efforts worldwide and helped pave the way for the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Earth Day 2000 sent world leaders the loud and clear message that citizens around the world wanted quick and decisive action on global warming and clean energy.
Earth Day has reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behaviour and provokes policy changes. Today, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more manifest every day. http://www.earthday.org/about/
In the UK, The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee have just released an important report, titled ‘Waste or Resource? Stimulating Bioeconomy’. This report calls on the Government to change their negative view on the ‘problem of waste’. The basic undertone of the report suggests that waste should be an opportunity rather than a hindrance. http://www.recycling-guide.org.uk/blog-lords-committee-report-sees-waste-as-an-opportunity.html
Simple things that can be done at home:
- Use energy efficient lightbulbs
- Ride a bike, rather than use a car
- If using a car, make sure it is well-maintained (yes, this really does make a difference!)
- Car share
- Check the room temperature – do you really need the AC on or could you take off a layer of clothing?
- Turn off lights when the room is not in use
- Fix water leaks -little drips add up!
Next week is Earth Week here at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai and it will all be about wonderful waste, waste, waste – what do we do with it? Having seen our Dinosaur Museum, you will know that we take recyclable waste and make it in to something wonderful. Check out our classroom news to see what we are up to.
The Four Noble Ones
The Four Gentlemen (四君子), also called the Four Noble Ones, in Chinese art refer to four plants: the plum (梅), the orchid (蘭), the bamboo (竹), and the chrysanthemum (菊). The term matches the four plants with junzi, or “gentlemen” in Confucianism. They are common subjects in traditional ink and wash painting, belonging to the category of bird-and-flower painting in Chinese art. The Four Gentlemen have been depicted in Chinese painting for more than a thousand years because of their refined beauty, as well as the moral characters with which the Chinese literati have imbued them.
Over the coming weeks, Lorna, our wonderful Art Consultant will be working alongside the pupils to recreate a Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai version of the Four Gentlemen in the main reception building. We have four large vase-like structures which cry out for the art of a young Wellingtonian and today one Gentleman joined our family. “The stalk of the bamboo is hollow, which came to symbolize tolerance and open-mindedness. Furthermore, the flexibility and strength of the bamboo stalk also came to represent the human values of cultivation and integrity in which one yields but does not break”. http://www.chinaonlinemuseum.com/painting-four-gentlemen.php
Classroom News for week beginning 24th April 2017
Early Years 1 – Earth Week
This week is Earth Week and we will explore how we can make the Earth a better place. We will learn about air and that air quality can be good and bad, we will focus on helping our friend- the earth and introduce the children to “haze” through a puppet show. We will link this with our air quality card in bilingual centre to help children to figure out the meaning of these four colours: green, orange, red and purple. We will discover how to take care of a garden and plant seeds to replenish what we take. We will consider how to recycle paper and plastic objects. We will talk about the labels for garbage classification. What kind of garbage we can reuse? We will talk about recycling, encourage children to use the recycled materials to create a masterpiece.
The importance of this unit cannot be understated; we are learning how to take care of our planet and by starting in EY1, we are laying the foundation for creating and nurturing children who will be knowledgeable as well as protectors of the environment.
We are reading: Shapes, Xing Zhuang zai na li
We are singing: Clean up, one two buckle my shoe; Shu ya zi; Chun tian za na li?; Chun yu sha sha; Wo you yi tou xiao mao lv
A note from the EY1 team: We would like to request parents help support Earth Week by bringing the following in: recycled materials (e.g. plastic bottles or cardboard) (the objects should be clean and not sharp).
Early Years 2 – Earth Week
The earth provides everything that we need. However, do we know how to love the earth? This project week every class in EY2 will explore the reason why the air or water pollution is getting worse, and how we can work together to protect the environment. We will focus on reusing items to make toys, games, and garden art. With a little bit of imagination anything is possible, and everyone is looking forward to BYOB Day! (That’s Bring Your Own Box Day, of course!)
If the weather is kind to us, we will spend time outdoors building mini-beast habitats to encourage helpful creatures like earthworms, snails, butterflies and more to live in our gardens around the setting. We’ll also help tend the vegetable and flower gardens that we have planted over the last two weeks. We’re also delighted to welcome Ms. Lorna back into our classrooms to work on another setting wide art project. Dates and times will be sent home in the Wellington Weekly early next week.
We are reading: 地球之舞、为什么北极熊的世界在融化、停电了, A House is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman, All the Water in the World, by George Ella Lyon, Not A Box, by Antoinette Portis
We are singing: 低碳宝贝, This Land (Earth Day version), based on the original folk song by Woodie Guthrie
Special Date in EY2: Weather and AQI permitting we will be outdoors much of the day on Monday April 24th (Kittens and Puppies) and Tuesday April 25th. (Bunnies, Lambs, and Ducklings). Please be sure your child is in uniform but dressed appropriately for the weather.
A note form the EY2 team: The sun is strong this time of year. All children must have a hat for outdoor learning and play activities. If your child does not have one they are available from the uniform store. Sunscreen & bug spray is also encouraged. Please be sure to label everything your child brings to the setting!
Early Years 3 – Earth Week
Next week we will be having a break from our ‘Lifecycles’ theme in order to make way for our project week, ‘Earth Week’. During our project week, the children will be learning about caring for our planet. We will be looking at how we can re-use and recycle things that we would usually throw away – boxes and bottles will be turned into a model of our setting and old clothes will be made into new ones. We will also investigate ways that we can save water.
We are reading: Why Should I Save Water? – Jen Green, Curious George Plants a Tree – Margaret and H.A Rey
We are singing: This Old Earth, Clean Up