Teachers can use SDGs in Action in several different ways in their classrooms. The app can be used as an educational tool to teach students about challenges that societies and the planet face through the educational materials, news stories, and classroom activities provided. It can also be used to spur action among students, to either join or create their own Actions based on one or more of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) included in the app.
Start by giving an intro lesson on the 17 goals and how they came about, and then teach your class about each one -- or just a selection of them, if you're low on time or have younger students -- during one or more class periods. Each goal is self-contained and includes extensive resources, including a World's Largest Lesson, which is a thorough lesson plan containing learning outcomes, preparation steps, recommended student ages, and all necessary instructions. The lessons are often cross-curricular, so they can fit into more than one school subject.
To help with inclusion, there's language support for each of the six United Nations official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.Continue reading Show less
SDGs in Action profiles the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) from the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Its goal is to help governments work together with those in the private sector -- as well as citizen volunteers -- to address important topics such as poverty, hunger, health, education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, energy, economic growth, infrastructure, climate change, ecosystems, peace, and more. The app allows kids to learn what's currently being done to work toward those goals and allows them to join in those efforts themselves.
Each of the SDGs includes explanatory videos, facts and figures, targets, and ideas of how people can help. There are also case studies, Actions that are related to the SDG being viewed, and a gallery of images. Helpful for students and teachers, each goal also includes a description of why that SDG matters, a comic highlighting important points, and a World's Largest Lesson on that topic, which is a detailed and rich lesson plan for teaching students about the SDG. These lessons appear on devices in a similar way to a PDF file, but there's no way to print or share these documents.
Other portions of the app include timely news stories and organized Actions that address the SDGs, each one marked with the goal(s) it relates to. Registered users can join local Actions or start their own, joining local people to advance one or more of these goals.
Though SDGs in Action seems to be intended to organize people to take action, in some parts of the world the app will be more useful as an educational tool, since many of the Actions are based in far-off locations. It's still quite valuable as a resource for learning, however, and classroom location should be no deterrent to making the most of the app. Students can search for news stories or Actions specifically related to certain goals, or search for Actions nearby. The filtering ability isn't completely functional, but it's a start.
Participating in the Actions or going through the rich classroom lessons will teach students about what life's like for countless people in other parts of the world, and they'll be able to carry those lessons with them as they go through their lives -- and as a context for choices they make in their lives. They'll learn and engage with subjects including societal struggles, social interactions, and barriers to advancement, as well as learn what's being done to combat these challenges. Students will learn that they can participate in small ways that will add up and produce larger results.
Key Standards Supported
Reading History/Social Studies
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.
Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).
Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author’s point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).
Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.
Assess the extent to which the reasoning and evidence in a text support the author’s claims.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
Evaluate an author’s premises, claims, and evidence by corroborating or challenging them with other information.
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