Animation Guide for Educators
Episode 3 :
Life of Monkey
Recognizing that faith leaders have been a driving force behind some of the most important and successful environmental movements, WWF-Malaysia partnered with Soka Gakkai Malaysia to produce an animation series called When We’re Friends (WWF) with Nature. Inspired by the teachings of Buddhism, the faith based animation series carries the message of, ‘It starts with one’ and uses the ‘Learn, Reflect, Empower’ approach which is aligned to WWF-Malaysia’s Education for Sustainable Development’s objective.
Think & put your brain to work!
Respect Other Living Things
This beautiful Earth sustains the life of different forms, and it should belong to all living things. We should respect and live in harmony with them.
Humans are destroying their surrounding environment to feed their greed in overexploiting natural resources for the use of materials and energy. They are sacrificing the needs of other living things to satisfy theirs. For instance, humans cut down the forests to build homes, hydropower plant and also harvest timber. Because of their greed, the wildlife lost their home as well.
Benefits of Trees
We are losing 7.3 million hectares of forest every year, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Trees are being cut down by humans for agriculture and development purposes. At this rate of deforestation, we might lose all the rainforests within 100 years. So, what exactly is a tree and why are they so important to use? A tree is a tall plant with woody tissue. The main parts of a tree are the roots, the trunk, the branches, and the leaves. Trees gather light for photosynthesis through their leaves.
Trees provide many benefits for both humans and animals. They clean the air, provide food and oxygen, conserve energy, save water, help prevent water pollution and soil erosion, create economic opportunities, provide shelter for wildlife and humans, and also combat climate change. We should plant and protect the trees instead of cutting them down because they are too precious for us.
What is Deforestation?
Malaysia has the world's highest rate of deforestation according to the latest global forest map. We are losing 7.6 million hectares of forests annually, (which equivalent to 27 soccer fields) every minute. So, what is deforestation? Deforestation is known as the clearing of Earth's forests on a massive scale for other uses, such as urbanization, timber harvest, agriculture and also cattle ranching. The quality of the land is affected due to deforestation, and this will cause a lot of consequences, which includes soil erosion and flood. Besides that, deforestation causes habitat loss and also deteriorate climate change.
So, what can we do in our daily lives to reduce the rate of deforestation? We should reduce our demands for forest products, plant trees at our backyard, go for paperless in our daily lives, always recycle used papers and buy papers that are only certified by Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Other than these, having a vegetarian meal can help in defeating deforestation too. Let's do our best to save the forest together!
Healthy Environment & Balanced Ecosystem
A healthy environment includes the clean air we breathe, clean water, healthy food, and clean surroundings. Our environment has a tremendous impact on our health and well-being, and to live well, we should do our part to take care of the environment. For a healthy environment, we should reduce the usage of water and electricity, reduce our carbon emission by taking public transport or carpooling, avoid pollution, recycle or upcycle the used products.
A balanced ecosystem is where the animals, plants and non-living components are living in harmony. Biodiversity boosts ecosystem productivity where all species have their roles to play. For example, a higher number of plant species means a greater variety of crops. The higher the species diversity, the better the survival rate for all life forms. Balanced ecosystems clean our water, purify our air, maintain our soil, regulate the climate, recycle nutrients and provide us food. They provide raw materials and resources for medicines and other purposes. However, many ecosystems are in danger of losing the harmony nowadays. So, let's do something for our environment before it's too late.
Prompt your audiences
Why do we need to preserve the forest?
Why do we need to have a green lung in the city?
Why do we need to have a zoo?
How should we protect wildlife?
How can deforestation causes landslide?
How do our daily lives get affected by deforestation?
What is deforestation?
What are the effects of cutting down the trees?
What can we do to decrease the rate of deforestation?
Activities you may want to try
Wildlife in the Jungle
To explore life in the forest by drawing.
Request the students to draw animals and plants that live in the forest, and also the surroundings of the forest, such as rivers, trees, hills.
Art paper, pencils and coloring pencils
Students will be able to draw pictures showing different living things in the forest.
Poem For Tree
To raise awareness about the importance of trees.
Divide 4-5 students in a group and ask them to create a poem for trees. The poem can focus on the importance of the trees, the function of the trees and others.
Students will be able to create a poem about trees.
Find Your Tree
To encourage the students to appreciate and love the trees.
In a forested area, pairs take turns to be blindfolded, one of them leads the other person to a tree, let them touch and feel the tree. Then, they will be led away from the tree by their partner. After removing the blindfold, the tree hugger tries to locate his/her tree.
Students will start to appreciate trees around them.
To increase knowledge of the students about different plant species.
This game requires you to play outdoors, preferably in a field with many trees. In your group, select one member to be a predator while the remaining members become squirrels.
The game master (not a member of the group, example: teacher) will call out the name or description of a tree in the field, and the squirrels will need to run to that mentioned tree without the predators catching them. The predators must catch the squirrels before they touch the tree.
If the predators catch the squirrel or the squirrel touches the wrong tree, that squirrel then becomes a predator as well. Repeat the game until there is only one squirrel left. The remaining squirrel wins the game.
The description of the trees
Students will learn more about trees.
Work Group 1
Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
To encourage the students to observe the nature around them including the trees and learn to appreciate them.
Divide 4-5 students in a group and organise a scavenger hunt for them. A scavenger hunt encourages the students to think about the world around them and to pay attention to the different plants and animals that live in their environment.
Pen/Pencil, Scavenger Hunt Template
Students will be able to observe the nature around them.
External Link: Scavenger Hunt - Nature Walk
Work Group 2
How Old is That Tree?
To educate the students about estimating the age of a tree without cutting it down.
Divide three students in a group and search for a tree as tall as a grown up. Ask each group to wrap the measuring tape around the broadest part of the trunk. The distance around the trunk of a tree is known as the circumference. Record the measurement on a piece of paper. Then, multiply the circumference by average growth factor to obtain the approximate age of the tree.
Tree, measuring tape, marker pen, pen, paper
Students will be able to estimate the age of the trees.
Please start your discussion related to the animation series at the comments below. Do share with us your ideas or suggestions to make the teaching experience even better & for all to try it!