Amazon forest fire v.s Kids

In the first class after a long summer break, I welcomed the kids by asking them what had been happening lately. Some mentioned typhoons, while others mentioned earthquakes. It was reassuring to see that they were aware of events occurring in their surroundings, rather than just being absorbed in cartoons or other forms of entertainment.

Continuing the discussion, I asked if anyone knew about any major events happening around the world at the moment. Something really serious! However, as I anticipated, there was no response.


What is a rainforest?

Today’s theme is Egypt – part 2. The kids who attended the part 1 class already know that the Nile River is one of the longest rivers in the world. Now, let’s talk about the other one. Yes, it’s the Amazon River. (I tried making a joke about Amazon delivery, but unfortunately, no one laughed. LOL)

亞馬遜河 (Amazon River)


where are most of the Rainforests in this Planet?why?

In the class, I began by presenting the pictures of the Amazon rainforest, showing the before and after images. Before diving into the discussion, I introduced the concept of a rainforest to the students. We explored the reasons behind the fires, what is currently happening, and why. This led to an engaging and extensive discussion, which is always the most enjoyable part of the class for me – the opportunity for lively and interactive discussions.


Lara: Why are the forests being burned for money?

Kids: Because they can’t cut them all, so they burn them all so others can’t get it! (so direct & honest…)

Kids: Because they want to burn the animals…

Lara: Well, those are consequences, but not the reason! What you said at the beginning is the answer! Exactly! Money is the reason! There are too many trees in the rainforest, and people can’t “make money” from it, so they want to cut down the trees and sell them to merchants who will use the land for crops or dairy farming, etc. So, they set fires to make money. Do we care?

Kids: Hmm… maybe… not really?

Lara: Do you know how human beings can stay alive? (We breathe…?)

Kids: AIR! (oxygen)

Lara: Correct! And what produces most of the air (oxygen)?

Kids: TREES!!

Lara: Exactly! And where do most of the trees exist?

Kids: Forest! (aka. rainforest)

Lara: Alright, let’s try to hold our breath for 20 seconds, shall we?

Teacher, I can’t do it! it’s so exhausted!!

Yes, I know it’s exhausting! The burning Amazon forest provides 20% of the oxygen to our planet! This means that every 20 seconds, 1.6 minutes’ worth of oxygen is provided by this area. If it burns out (not even completely, just to a certain extent), it becomes irreversible. If there’s not enough oxygen on Earth, then we’ll have problems breathing… So, do we care about this faraway Amazon forest fire? I think we do, and we should!

孩子們的反應很真實, 討論完後一個女孩大聲的說:

“I’ll have a nightmare tonight! I’m only 8, and I don’t want to die!”

Due to the greediness of certain adults, our children, and the children of our children, will suffer. Sadly, this is a reflection of who we are as human beings. However, instead of being passive and sad, we can take proactive steps to be more aware of the world and what is happening on our planet. Moreover, we can educate our children about these issues. Perhaps, with hope and optimism, we can hope that future generations will surpass our efforts and make a positive impact.

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