Recently we have been working on activities to promote sustainable living. As part of this study the children calculated their carbon footprint. In order to fully understand the weight of their carbon footprint I created this carbon cycle chart.
The chart contains movable cards for each part of the carbon cycle. On the back is a description of that card and it's process.
Once we laid out all the cards and I finished my presentation, the children were silent and their faces displayed the shock of realisation that their actions are destroying the earth. One child immediately pointed out that more carbon is being released into the atmosphere then is taken away. We discussed the side effects of excessive carbon in the atmosphere. The children left the lesson insisting that they must do something to improve the situation.
The carbon footprint worksheet was a great follow up. Each child filled out a form and all were disgusted by their results. I am sure they each went home and began thinking about switching off the lights and reusing plastic bottles.
You can buy the carbon cycle chart and cards from here.