Interconnections of phenomena

Objective: The aim is to reflect on the multiple cause and effect interconnections of the phenomena linked to sustainable development and climate change.

Time: 20-30 minutes

Materials: Open the PDF files Connections of the phenomena pictures and Explanations of complex connections (as background material for the teacher), print them and cut out each connection (four connections in total) and then from these, cut out also each image/circle describing a single phenomenon (four per each connection).

Activity: Hand out the pictures of the connections to the students: one set (all four connections with four images each) per a group of 2-4 persons. Explain that the aim is to lay out the pictures so that they form four different chains of connections, i.e., the cause and effect relationships of the phenomena. Each chain has four pictures. You can tell the themes of the connections as a clue: pollinators, the Amazon forest fires, melting of glaciers and refugee crisis.

When the students have organised their suggestions of the connections, go through them together. You can, for example, lay out the pictures on the white board or overhead projector according to the students' instructions. Discuss the topic with the help of the explanations (PDF). As an additional exercise, you can ask the students to come up with new chains of connections by using the pictures. Go through the newly discovered connections and comment on them.

The conclusion is that there are numerous different kinds of connections between phenomena. It is important to understand them in order to advance sustainable development and to mitigate climate change. Moreover, they reveal how dependent we are on a healthy planet.

Ilmiöiden kytkökset
Ilmiöiden kytkökset

Climate myths

Objective: This exercise addresses the most typical arguments questioning the human-caused climate change and the claims that the Finnish people do not need to act to mitigate climate change. These arguments and claims are responded to with facts based on research.

Time: 15-25 minutes

Materials: Whiteboard, markers, and Denying the facts (download PDF).

Activity: Ask the students what kind of arguments that deny or question the human-caused climate change or Finland's possibility or responsibility to have an impact on it, they have encountered. Write down the arguments.

When all the arguments are written down, go through the arguments together with the help of the illustration below and the background material. If you encounter arguments that you cannot find an answer to from the materials, you can agree that one of you will research into it for the next lesson.


In the North as well as in the South (with photo cards)

Objective: The aim of the exercise is to find out concrete examples of the same causes and solutions of climate change present both in the Global North (specifically Finland in these examples) and all over the world. This is done with photo cards. One side of the photo card has a photo from Finland and the other a photo from somewhere in the world. Both photos show the same cause or solution of climate change. With the help of the photo cards, the students can also think about how the Agenda2030 Sustainable Development Goals are linked to the topics of the photo cards.

Time: 30 minutes

Materials: Print out the photo pairs: coal, sun, deforestation, forest conservation, food production challenges, food production solutions as well as Agenda2030 sustainable development goals and Photocard explanations. Fold and put the photos into half-cut plastic sleeves so that there are always an explanation sheet cut to a suitable size and Agenda2030 Sustainable Development Goals sheet in between the folded photo sheet.

NOTE: If you want to make this exercise more relevant to non-Finnish students, consider using photos from your country instead of the ones from Finland!

Activity: Distribute the photos in plastic sleeves to students, one per group of 2-4 persons. Instruct them to consider where in the world the photos might have been taken, what happens in the photos and how they are connected to climate change. You can say that there are no right or wrong answers but that the students can think about what kind of thoughts come to mind when looking at the photos. Note! The photos should not be taken out of the plastic sleeves just yet! Go through the first impressions together, one group at a time.

The next step is to instruct the students to take the photos out of the plastic sleeves and to read the explanations. After this, the task is to consider which Agenda2030 goals the photos are linked to. There are no right or wrong answers here either. Analyse the last phase together. What did the explanations reveal about the photos? Was it surprising? Were the first impressions accurate? Which Agenda2030 goals are the photos linked to?

The conclusion is that the same causes and solutions of climate change are present here as well as all over the world. You can state that the Agenda2030 goals are very extensive, and depending on the perspective, the phenomena can be linked to several of the goals.


In the North as well as in the South (with videos)

Objective: The aim of the exercise is to reflect on how the same phenomena connected to climate change and sustainable development are present both in the Global North as in the South and all over the world, and to seek both global connections and local perspectives related to the topics of the videos. With the help of the exercise, the students can also reflect on how the Agenda2030 Sustainable Development Goals are linked to the topics of the videos.

Time: 30-45 minutes

Materials: Computers or tablets (for everyone or one per group) and sound for watching the videos.

Activity: Watch the Southern Voices videos in small groups (found on the web page). Either choose one video per group of 2-4 persons or let the students choose for themselves. The topics are energy, forests, food and activism. There are altogether seven videos.

Ask the students to reflect on the video’s topic in their country or locality. Is their country connected to the topic of the video? Is the same cause or solution of climate change present in their country? If not, is their country linked to the phenomenon in some other way, for example, through consumption or business?

Analyse your thoughts together and go through what was discovered. If there is enough time and if the students want to delve deeper into the phenomena, they can be given time to do background research online after the videos have been watched.


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