Cartoons for Change
Saiga conservationists in Uzbekistan have been using cartoons to promote environmental conservation amongst school children.
Elena Bykova asked Elena Inametdinova and Alina Zelenskaya, (both artists and teachers), to organise and oversee this activity for 10 - 11 year old children in the Music and Art School in Tashkent.
The children produced five complete stories about biodiversity lost, pollution and desertification in order to explore the impacts of human behaviour on the environment.
The activity involved discussing environmental issues and their solutions with the children before illustrating concepts that had been examined.
All stories were very humanized, with aspects of the environment such as the earth, sun, plants and animals having human characteristics and emotions in order to help the children build an affinity with the natural world.
The stories were given a positive message in order to highlight the fact that through positive actions people can have a beneficial impact on the environment.
Discussion and Follow-Up
Elena Inametdinova reported that the children felt empowered by the process as it emphasised the creation and inclusion of their ideas and helped them to understand that human misunderstandings and behaviour lead ecological threats.
The process of developing solutions to environmental problems left the children feeling confident about their own abilities to get involved in activities that will have a positive impact on their environment.
Elena Bykova reports that creating the cartoons was a great educational tool and provided a forum for discussions about global and local educational problems.
If you would like to know more about this activity please contact Elena Bykova whose profile can be accessed in the specialist resources section.