Today we started to dig into the connections between our planet’s resources and our consumption patterns. We watched a bit of a documentary called “Earth: The Operator’s Manual”, specifically the part about how fossil fuels are formed. The students created a flow map of the process by watching the clip three times: once for what materials go into creating fossil fuels; once for how much time is involved; and once to track where the energy comes from and goes to. They learned that fossil fuels take hundreds of millions of years to form, but we are burning them all up in the course of a few hundred.
We also began to examine the life-cycle of one of their favorite products, especially considering how much energy goes into each step of the cycle. They want to go to a factory to see how energy is used. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself! Now I just need to find a company in the area willing to let 20 5th graders on their factory floor….
It may be reaching, but tomorrow I am going to help the students understand how governance shifts based on consumption patterns. Hm. Writing it out like that makes it seem even more insane, but in a place like New Mexico, the shifts are so easily recognized. I can resist!