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How to introduce the SDGs to young learners – Testimony from an Ambassador

Updated: Aug 20, 2020

By Amanda Abrom, Global Schools Ambassador, Spain

This month, I was at a bilingual high school in Madrid, Spain, giving classes to sixty 7th graders about the importance of the UN’s sustainable development goals. At the beginning of their geography class, we watched videos showing beautiful places in nature, including the ocean, forests, water, ice, and the land. This brought up a variety of questions: What should we do to help nature? How are we damaging the environment? Do we have a plan to take action?

Almost all the students were surprised to realize that we do have a plan – the United Nation’s Sustainable Development goals. Most students had never even heard about them before! After learning what all the goals were and their definition, we talked about what was required to achieve each goal. For example, the students were tasked to make a list of everything we needed to achieve Goal 4: Education. The students were master brainstormers, thinking of everything from funds, teachers, facilities, textbooks, buildings, to sanitation services.

Finally, I tasked the students to become Presidents of their own, and in groups they designed a country that had achieved all 17 SDGs! 11 ideal countries were presented in front of the class, and the students had to justify orally how each goal was fulfilled.

This was an amazing and successful activity – and a great way to teach young learners about the Global Goals! You will be surprised at the ideas young students can come up with and their clever creativity. For more ideas on how to integrate the Global Goals into your own classes – geography or whatever it may be – check out the lessons and resources on the Global Schools Program website and sign the pledge to join our network of schools!

It’s never too early to begin challenging today’s youth to think bigger and to solve the world’s most complex challenges!

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