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We are taking part in Blog action Day, this  is an annual event that unites the world's bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance. The organisers say this will be the largest-ever social change event on the web and describe it as ‘One day. One issue. Thousands of voices’

We wanted to share and remind you of a number of projects that are available through the Innovative Teachers network, that deal specifically with the topic of climate change.

The Climate Mystery, a free online game and alternate reality universe where students learn about climate change and issues while they try to save the world from certain disaster. Microsoft and Congin (the game creators) have published new resources to help teachers use it in your classroom.

The new teacher materials for The Climate Mystery can be found on The Teachers Toolbox Skydrive. Here you’ll find the following documentation:

  • CMA teachers’ guide that introduces you to all of the available materials and gives you an idea of the time you’ll need to allocate to run the programme as well as technical requirements, classroom setup, suggested discussion topics and assessments and loads of other useful information.
  • The Climate Mystery Manual, a user guide for students that helps them work through the web site and navigate the different episodes of the mystery.
  • A curriculum mapping document that helps you map The Climate Mystery to your own national curriculum and standards.
  • Episode guides for all 16 episodes.

Dan Roberts one of our award winning teachers, has been working with the charity Cool Earth . You can check out his adventures in the rain forests of Peru onI am presented with Turtle shell & Monkey voice box his blog. He has also teamed up with another of our Innovative Teacher's, Ollie Bray. Together they have been promoting a number of environmental projects. Have a look at Ollie’s Blog for more details.

Cool Earth are running a great competition at moment, open to all primary school children across the UK and secondary students aged 12 and under. They want your students to design and name a new species of plant or animal that has imaginative ways of dealing with the ever increasing challenges of living in the rainforest. The winning entry will have their design illustrated by Rob Steen and will receive a copy of Flanimals signed by Ricky Gervais. The school will also receive one acre of rainforest protected in their name and Cool Earth would like to visit winning school to present the prize. Two runners up will be presented with a signed copy of Flanimals and their school will receive one acre of rainforest protected in their name.

coolearth competition The lesson resource pdf is titled Can you create your own organism and can be downloaded from: http://drop.io/coolearth

How to enter?

The design must be a picture of the animal, annotated with the ideas of how the species has been designed to survive. Entries will be judged on creativity and understanding of the conditions that species in the rainforest must face. Email the pictures if you are able to scan or photograph any to schools@coolearth.org Or post them to: Cool Earth, E16, Opie Building, Cornwall College Camborne, Trevenson Road, Redruth, Cornwall, TR15 3RD. Make sure the student’s name, age and school are on the entries and that you include the schools contact details. The closing date is the 20th November 2009. For terms & conditions please see http://www.coolearth.org/ or for more information and other resources for schools and teachers see http://www.coolearth.org/365/category/teachers-168.html

Finally we have a number of resources in the form of Virtual Classroom Tours on the Innovative Teachers Network, www.uk.innovativeteachers.com. These resources have been developed by teachers. Two great examples are:- ‘The Asian Tsunami’ where James Kent, describes how he has used technology to allow students to describe their responses to such a disaster. For Primary pupils, a team of teachers from Wales , have created a series of resources called ‘Natural World’. They used Moviemaker to support young children in their responses, ideas and thoughts about the environment. In the project children created their own 'perfect' environments and their work was photographed and a narration added. Then, without them knowing, their environments were built on by unscrupulous developers. Trees and animal homes made way for high rise Lego buildings. The three teachers recorded children's feelings to these disasters. The child’s responses are thought provoking.

If you are currently undertaking an environmental based project in your school and would like to share it with other teachers. Then why not consider entering it as a Virtual Classroom Tour into the Innovative Teacher Forum awards, details can be found in this post.