At the moment we are revamping the GCSE Economic Geography Unit. As Priory is striving to be a Rights Respecting School, and the fact that I believe that children should engage with controversial issues using the language of rights and responsibility, here is a brief description of how we’ve worked the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child into a case study about the environmental impact of an economic activity. To me, this is a no brainer as using the framework, students not only engage more deeply with the topic, but also gain an insight into a controversial issue.
What is the environmental price of our love affair with oil?
Do Now - Bing start page - what jobs etc.
Flickr Search of images - BP Oil Spill in the Gulf of Mexico whilst listening to Audio interview. Students to record in pairs SEE impacts. Lengthen these to disaster chains. Focus on the environment, which rights of children may have been infringed - focus on Article 24 - Health and health services. The environmental impacts could have long term health effects. Children in the area sometimes have bleeding from the ears in classrooms. Consider this Fact Sheet aimed at children and highlighting the impacts of crude oil exposure. Opportunity to look at science fact and uncertainty. Link students lives to dependency on oil. Use the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child available here. (there are laminated copies of both available) Use the development compass rose to ask questions about the oil spill - this is good practice for developing CA questions.
Do we have the right to freeze duty on fuel? Consider the Sun’s campaign to keep the price of fuel down. If we are to protect the environment for future generations, shouldn't we make fuel really expensive to encourage drivers onto public transport? Play devils advocate, e.g. would you accept a £2 rise in the cost of bread for higher fuel prices?
Whilst watching Stephen Fry’s investigation
1. iPads / computers / netbooks - investigate the news stories around the time and record the environmental impacts. Some nice specific detail on the C4 news site here.
2. WideWorld Magazine - 22 /3
3. Map give outline map of the gulf of mexico and the map on the back of World Wide 24/1.
4. Google Earth files on the spill.
Spend 6 minutes at each station - getting information about the environmental cost. CASE STUDY. How were new technologies used to help?
What if this happened in the UK? Shetland set for deep water drilling.
Engaging the students with the Convention turned out to be very powerful, especially when considering the environmental and social impact of the oil spill.
Photos thanks to @GeoDebs. Some images are Copyright and I have contacted the user for permission.