What is the value of nature? Why do we value nature? This is a question that was posed to our students after an indoor activity in which we experienced trade and value using school supplies. In another activity, each student was given 10 pretend gift cards for different purposes and were asked to rank their set from 1-10 depending on how much they valued each one. Students were then allowed to trade their gift cards with their table (their country) and then with the whole class (the world.) This led to a discussion on what we value and why we value it. Some students valued gift cards to the grocery store with a 10 and some valued gift cards to the video game store with a 10. Each student had differing values. This was a great indoor lesson that generated a lot of discussion among our students and supplemented our study of the Imperial Age in the United States.
But, when we were outdoors we wanted to discuss value as it relates to nature. In this activity, each student was given something found in the park. Some were given pine needles, some were given sticks and some were given flowers. We went around the circle and each student explained what they had and how they would rank its value on a scale of 1-10 and why. Next, they were allowed to trade. After the trade, we went back around the circle and reevaluated our items. It was interesting to see that students placed high values on almost anything, even sticks.
So, why do we value nature?
“…nature gives us life. Nature gives us shade, food, materials, protection…nature is the one reason why we have everything we have.” – Summer
“I value nature because of its beautiful sound and elegance. It is gentle and harsh at the same time.” – Camille
“I value nature because I love nature and animals.” – Madison
“I can climb trees and explore.” – William
“trees are nature. Without trees, we would not be living.” – Shaelyn
“nature is a beautiful thing. So many discoveries yet to be discovered.” – Liam
“…if nature was not here, nothing would exist.” – Ryan P.
“nature is ultimate, it’s us, it’s what let’s us live with it’s oxygen and water.” – Seth
“The sounds, sights, and scents of nature can help you think. They can also make you happier. The way that nature feels can release a chemical in your body called endorphin, which makes you happy and calm.” – Paul
“when you’re in nature, you can see and hear so many different things. I like to see how tall the trees can get because when your looking up its like a pillar of nature shooting into the stars.” – Jake
“nature for us, provides shade, warmth, inspiration, oxygen, almost everything.” – Basem
“it’s fun to sit somewhere and listen to the sound of nature. You can hear a bird.” – Michael
As we continue to study the world around us, both in Global Studies and in Science, we will continue the conversation of value.