The Girl Scouts of Colorado Global Action Team is so excited that you will be celebrating 2020 World Environment Day on June 5! Below are the activities for you to complete at home. We recommend completing these activities the week of June 5, but you can dive into them anytime!
Step One: Watch the World Environment Day video from the Global Action Team. Scroll to the bottom of this post for a transcript for the video.
Step Two: Complete at least one of the two activities listed below.
Option One: Measure one square foot. Go outside and choose an area of land—it doesn’t matter where as long as it is about one-foot square. Carefully observe this small space. See how many things you can notice within that foot, things that no one has ever looked at before. This particular blade of grass. This unique pebble. Maybe an insect or a worm going about its day. How many unique things can you find in one square foot? Take about ten minutes to observe your square foot then write down all the unique things you found.
BONUS: Observe more than one square feet in different places! How many unique things did you find?
Don’t forget to track where you’ve measured one square foot and how many unique things you found!
Option Two: Watch “Ask a Scientist about Cuba’s Biodiversity” from the American Museum of Natural History. Ana Luz Porzecanski answers children’s questions about Cuba in this video interview. She is a conservation biologist at the American Museum of Natural History.
Answer the following questions:
- What is biodiversity and why is it important?
- What percentage of the world’s species of frogs are found in Cuba?
- What is a hutia?
Step Three: Complete the activity listed below based on your Girl Scout level.
Daisies – Learn about animal habitats
- Plastic bottle, 1-2L in size, or milk container
- Items from the backyard: small sticks, leaves, bark, pinecones, or recycle clay pots
- Pencil, crayon, or pen
Take a Hike. Go out on a nature hike either in your backyard, on a trail, or at the park. Be on the lookout for flying insects. Which ones did you see? Flies, bees, ladybugs, or butterflies? Write them down or draw them on a piece of paper.
Did you know that insects live in many places? They live in the ground, on bushes, in trees, and even in your house! Learn about animal habitats and where bugs live by watching this video.
Did you know that by kicking an ant hill or taking the leaves off a tree that you might be destroying a bug’s habitat? We wouldn’t want that! How can you protect their homes? Think of the ways you can help protect an insect’s home and write them on your paper.
Build an animal habitat. Now you’re going to build an insect habitat. Once done, you can either hide it in a bush or near the ground, or even hang it up in the tree. It’s up to you! Just follow these steps, or watch the video, and you will have your own insect habitat!
- Get a 1L or 2L plastic bottle. Ask a grownup to help you cut it in half and then cut off the closed ends. You want to make sure you have a cylinder tube with an opening on both ends.
- Next, you will start to put in the sticks and bark pieces into the tube. You will want to stack everything into the tube, including any pinecones, leaves, and clay pot pieces.
- Once everything is inside the tube nice and tight, your new insect house is complete! You can either place it in a rock bed, near some bushes, or even tie a string around it to hang in a tree.
Thanks for being a great Eco Learner and learning about how you can help protect insect habitats.
Brownies – Biodiversity Bingo!
- Biodiversity Bingo
- Pencil, crayon, or pen
Using the Biodiversity Bingo board (linked above), find five items in a row up, down, or diagonally. Take a walk around outside. Check off all the items you saw outside. You could even put a number in each square of how many you saw.
Consider the following questions as you look for items:
- How many kinds of birds did you see? Did they have different coloring or size?
- How many kinds of animals did you see that had four legs.?
- Did the leaves that you found come from trees that had different shapes- some trees tall and slender, some trees large and spread out?
- How many kinds of trees taller than you did you see? Pine trees, trees with flowers on them, Trees with seeds on them.
How many Bingos were you able to make?
If you couldn’t find everything in the squares, perhaps you might like to explore a little farther into the neighborhood to try to find more items. Indicate where you saw each of the new items you have found.
Note: As you answered the questions above you are showing the diversity of your area. The higher the number of kinds of different plants (trees, flowers, etc.). – or different animals (birds, dogs, cats, rabbits, squirrels) you saw indicates how diverse your area is. If the immediate area is only parking lots with little grass and wooden structures with no trees or flowers or animals, then the area wouldn’t be very diverse.
Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors – complete the three sections below.
Sometimes it can feel overwhelming, when we are constantly bombarded by messages that we are running out of time to protect our planet and that everything is going wrong.
When we don’t know what to do, it can be easy to just decide there is nothing that can be done, tune out, and go back to whatever we were doing. However, there is a lot we can do; there is a lot that people all over the world are doing!
Educating ourselves about the issues and other human’s actions is a great place to start. The task feels a whole lot less overwhelming when we know we are not fighting alone!
Over the course of this week, spend some time exploring these different resources. Find what components of biodiversity are particularly interesting to you and learn how they interact with each other. When we are really interested in what we are trying to work on, it is much easier to stay motivated to stick to our path.
Section One: Learning About Biodiversity
Do you like to read to learn more?
- Start by exploring the Youth and United Nations Global Alliance’s Youth Guide to Biodiversity.
- Start with the first section on page 13 and read the section about What is Biodiversity?
- Then look over the table of contents on page five and see what seems interesting do you! Do you want to know more about how people are affecting biodiversity? What is interesting about biodiversity on land or in the oceans? What is happening about biodiversity in agriculture?
Or, perhaps you would rather watch videos?
- The TED Earth School has put together a bunch of videos about the nature of our world and they included a great primer on The Nature of Biodiversity and The Nature of Biodiversity Loss.
- They also have a bunch of videos about all manner of questions relevant to biodiversity. Scroll through the different weeks and find something that seems interesting to you.
Or, have discussions with your friends?
- There are many different perspectives that we can consider with respect to biodiversity. Explore this document for some interesting discussion points.
Section Two: What are other people doing?
There are tons of places on the internet where people are sharing the activities and projects they are doing. After taking Girl Scouts of the USA’s Internet Safety Pledge, search the internet to find what other people are doing or start exploring at these links.
- Pick one of the Sustainable Development Goals that’s relevant to biodiversity- Climate Action, Life Below Water, or Life on Land. Explore some of the stories of people working to accomplish the goal!
- Explore some UN News Stories about what other people are doing. ?
Section Three: What can you do?
- Were you inspired by anything you have found this week? Would you like to start your own project?
- Would you want to join a project someone else is working on? Does something on SciStarter strike you as interesting?
- Or, would you rather change a few daily habits and encourage your friends to do the same?
Steps Four and Five: If you registered to participate in the 2020 World Environment Day program, check out the email you received on May 31 for information about completing Steps Four and Five.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
We want to hear how your girl is using her Girl Scout skills by taking initiative, caring for the community, and Girl Scouting at home. She can send in her story here.