Why Are Our Grasslands So Important? How children can benefit from exploring this topic.

Grasslands cover about 1/4 of land on our planet. Grasslands are predominately grass, wildflowers and a few trees. Saying that, what is most notable about the grassland environment, is the lack of trees.

Grasslands are under threat. As grass is a common component of our gardens, parks and leisure spaces, people don't often think of them as being endangered. However, this is not the kind of grassland that environmental scientists are concerned about. 

Wild grasslands such as prairies, pampas and savanna occupy increasingly desirable real estate and potential land for agriculture. Due to this, our grasslands, which are extremely efficient at storing carbon, are vulnerable. As a diverse and rich habitat - so are the animals that call it home. 

 

There are two types of grassland - tropical and temperate. The largest areas of a type of  tropical grassland called the savanna, are found on the continent of Africa. Kenya and Tanzania are great examples of beautiful savanna grassland. Savanna is also found in parts of Brazil in South America. 

 

How do we engage young learners so that they understand importance of grasslands?

 

  • Animals - animals that live in the grassland environment such as bison or giraffe are a useful starting point to spark an interest. If learners care about these animals and want to know more - we have their attention ready to explore about wider issues. 
  • Short videos -  Look for great images of grasslands and grassland animals, it's also more interactive if educators, while introducing the topic let learners absorb the landscape and then talk minimally over the audio to personalize the experience so it isn't a passive learning experience. 
  • Expert visitors - It's always great when an approachable, knowledgeable expert would come to visit the class. This is a valuable opportunity for learners to ask questions about grasslands - zoo keepers are a great classroom guest. I remember once I found out that a colleagues' father was a zookeeper. My colleague came to class and to the delight of the children, was able to answer a plethora of expert questions - plus they already had a great relationship with him as specialist teacher. 

If you want to know more about climate change and for a fun teacher timesaver to help your learners become more knowledgeable about climate change. 

 

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