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#OurStories: together with children against drought

Department 58 – International Relations
Department 58 – International Relations


Thanks to the project, children also learn active citizenship

The world and the climate are changing rapidly and the landscape is exposed to more and more frequent weather extremes. Therefore, children need to be taught how to understand these processes and how to resist or adapt to negative changes. The Together with Children Against Drought project provides invaluable experiences for children through outdoor learning and active participation in conservation. At the same time, it strengthens their environmental awareness, helps them develop respect for the environment and contributes to the sustainable care of nature. 

"The project has given us the opportunity to fulfil the concept of what and how we want to teach children. The main areas we are addressing are values education and environmental education. We want to promote active citizenship and the desire to change things in children", says Martina Zitová, the headmistress of Prameny Primary School in Rousínov, South Moravia.

Ředitelka ZŠ Prameny se aktivně zapojuje do výuky nejmenších žáků

Director of Prameny Primary School Martina Zitová is actively involved in teaching the youngest pupils

In the project, teachers from Prameny Primary School joined with colleagues from the Norwegian school Namsos barneskole and experts from Czech environmental education organizations. Together they focused in particular on the fight against drought and how to involve the youngest generation. In their project, they are developing and testing an innovative methodology for teaching primary school children to better understand the processes that take place in the environment and what they can do for it themselves. The main idea behind the methodology is inspired by the Living Landscape Model, which allows experts and the general public to map the landscape and find ways to retain water in it. 

 "The methodology builds in children the awareness that there is no "man" and "nature", but that there is "man in nature", that he is an integral part of it and that we actually need to change the way we think about this issue," says teacher and methodologist Irena Bílá.

Not only educators, but also other interested parties are interested in the methodology. The school organised a seminar to present the methodology and 17 interested people from primary schools and kindergartens came. And this is just the beginning. In addition to the Prameny Primary School, two other primary schools in Adršpach and Suchý Důl are also testing the methodology. Once it is ready, it will be available for download on the websites of the schools, the partners, and also on the website of the House of International Cooperation, which is a facilitator of the EEA and Norway Grants Education Programme. 

Thanks to outdoor learning, children take the problems around them seriously and sincerely want to solve them 

According to the new methodology, much of the teaching takes place outdoors, directly in nature. For example, pupils use imaginative worksheets (and their teachers) to measure soil erosion, investigate wetlands and watering holes. They do not hesitate to use modern technology or, on the other hand, delve into the study of old maps that reveal the landscape in times gone by. Through their research, they learn to look for connections between human interventions in the environment and their negative consequences. They discover that even a small change can have a real impact on the local community - a wetland can hold water even during heavy rainfall and rare animals and plants will return to the site.

Výuka probíhá také podle pracovních listů
Classroom lessons based on worksheets

Ten-year-old Mariana likes outdoor learning: "During nature lessons we like that we are always discovering new places and exploring different parts of nature. We enjoy the different activities and love to learn. Outdoor learning is like a game for us."

Other children join in: "When we did the activities, we really enjoyed it. And now when we walk outside, we think about what we can do to help nature, like to bring back some endangered species, to have more water everywhere and not run off so fast, just to keep nature in balance."

The children then try to suggest measures to bring the landscape back into balance. And this teaching is bearing fruit. Already after the first year of the project, thanks to the children, the establishment of ponds in the surrounding meadows was successfully promoted at the Roussines Town Hall! In addition, the children are gaining confidence that they themselves can positively influence the world around them and are becoming an example for their classmates from other schools in the Czech Republic and Norway.

Thanks to the project, children also learn about active citizenship

If children come up with specific ideas for improving the environment, they can contact the municipality directly. Local municipalities are open to working with children and are willing to listen to their ideas and support them in their conservation efforts. Together they can plan and implement various projects such as planting trees, cleaning up natural sites or organising awareness-raising events. 

"We presented the project together with Children Against Drought at the Children's Environmental Conference How the World is Changing. We presented them with the methodology and presented the proposal of creating a pond near our school. And a year ago, we presented this proposal to the city representatives and found out that there were plans for ponds in the area, so we were very happy", say 5th grade students Šárka and Hugo together.

Šárka a Hugo na dětské ekologické konferenci Jak se mění svět

Šárka and Hugo at the children's ecological conference How the world is changing, source, Primary School Prameny

Děti prezentovaly svůj návrh na tvorbu tůněk také zástupcům města Rousínov

The children also presented their proposal for the creation of ponds to representatives of the town of Rousínov, source Primary School Prameny

In this way, children not only get the feeling that their voice is heard, but also learn to cooperate, express their opinions and take responsibility for their actions.

Most topics can be learned outdoors

Learning outdoors undoubtedly has a positive effect on children's health and mental state. Being in the fresh air and moving around in nature benefits their physical condition and overall well-being. Studies show that contact with nature reduces stress, improves concentration and promotes creativity.

Učení venku 


"Learning outdoors is not just focused on science or primary education. On expedition days, for example, we go out into the garden to learn maths. We're just outdoors, we live in that nature, it comes sort of spontaneously. If we find that we need to calculate how fast the water is flowing, we teach math. Or now we count the cones and divide them by three. We can follow that up with Czech language, sports activities, chores. We are able to teach most subjects in nature," said teacher and methodologist Miloslava Hazuchová Strungová.

The project "Together with children against drought" brings children not only knowledge about nature protection, but also practical skills, values and a sense of their own contribution. Children become active conservationists who are able to take on the challenges of today's world and contribute to building a sustainable future. This project is an inspiring example of how, by working together, we can bring positive changes to our environment and raise an environmentally responsible generation.

Děti se učí aktivnímu občanství

The project educates an environmentally responsible generation with the desire and courage to change things

Project Facts

The project Together with Children Against Drought was created in cooperation with the South Moravian Primary School Prameny, Rousínov, the East Bohemian Educational and Cultural Centre Broumov, the association Živá voda, z. s. and the Norwegian foreign partner - the school Namsos barneskole. The methodology will be freely available to all interested parties, especially teachers at the first level of primary school and leaders of environmental clubs.

More about the Programme:

Project title:  Together with Children Against Drought
Project promoter: Primary School Prameny, Rousínov
Project partners: Namsos Municipality, Namsos, Norway
Vzdělávací a kulturní centrum Broumov, CZE
Živá Voda, Provodov - Šonov, CZE
Programme: Education
Grant: 94 694 EUR
Cíl projektu: The aim is to raise awareness of the causes and impacts of climate change, in particular the problem of droughts and floods, and to find appropriate ways to engage primary school pupils in active citizenship and how they themselves can contribute to tackling climate change.