One of the biggest lessons we can teach our children in life is how to protect the future of our planet. That’s why UNICEF supports the World’s Largest Lesson (WLL), being observed by schools in Jamaica beginning on Tuesday, September 19.
Annually the lesson is held with the aim of introducing students to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to unite them in action. This year’s theme ‘Every Plate Tells a Story’ invites children to consider the impact of their food choices on themselves and the planet.
From healthy eating to checking on the practices of food producers, children will roll up their sleeves and dig into Goals 2, 3, 13, 14, and 15. They will also be called on to stand up for the children that are hungry and need our help.
UNICEF believes that young people can help solve the world’s challenges. The WLL is the idea we and our partners hope will inspire teachers around the world to teach them the SDGs. The SDGs are universal and by learning about them and will teach students how they impact their lives and their communities. This will expose them to important global issues like equity and justice and critical mindsets like tolerance and empathy.
I just completed the course on teaching the SDGs, which other educators can freely access as well as teaching resources and lesson plans via worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org. They will then be able to deliver fun, interactive lessons on the SDGs intended to inspire students to tackle challenges such as poverty, inequality and climate change. Schools can also share their activities on social media using the hashtag #TeachSDGs.
Jamaica has actively participated in previous years and this year will be no different. Minister of Education Ruel Reid, himself a former school principal, will once again deliver the lesson, this time to students of Cumberland High School in Portmore, St. Catherine. The ministry has shared information on teaching the WLL with all schools, pointing teachers to a wealth of interactive resources to be found online. Teachers are encouraged to use these interactive resources throughout the school year as many are aligned to the national curriculum.
Around the world teachers and students have become inspired and begun to make changes, big and small, in their schools and communities. At UNICEF we will be highlighting some of these stories in the coming school year. By doing so we hope to encourage more and more schools to come on board and incorporate the SDGs into their teaching, encouraging our students to think, create and participate.