Implementation of “Ecology: a tool to re-invent the future” (SOI-HR-439)

Author: Maja Penava Aleksić, Teacher of English Language

School/Organization: Osnovna škola “Blaž Tadijanović” Slavonski Brod

The LS “Ecology: a tool to reinvent the future” was implemented in an English language class with 12-

year-old students in a Croatian elementary school. The two sessions were held in April 2023, the first

lasting 90 minutes, the other lasting 45 minutes. The sessions took place physically at school, with the

students having some of the activities as homework. Students completed their tasks working in groups

using their own devices (tablets, smartphones) in the classroom. We visited the online art galleries

provided by the Europeana platform.

The Earth Day Celebration

The LS “Ecology: a tool to reinvent the future” was implemented as a part of Earth Day celebration

activities in a Croatian elementary school. It was implemented in the seventh grade English class as a

part of cross-curricular topic “Sustainable Development” in curricula. 20 students participated in group

work which included direct collaboration while using Europeana platform, tablets and digital tools such

as Padlet, Mentimeter and BookCreator. The students were not previously familiar with arts and science

digital heritage but they gained great insight by engaging in the lesson.

1st session: The biggest threat to planet Earth

In the introduction part of the lesson, student groups accessed our Padlet board with link for

Mentimeter. They answered my question “What is the biggest threat to planet Earth today?”

(Students’ poll answers on Mentimeter)

We discussed their answers, and I explained that as an Earth Day celebration activity we would be

working on the Europeana platform visiting virtual artworks galleries.

(Lesson materials shared on Padlet)

In the main part of the lesson, I presented the aim of the lesson, which was to write a story connected to some of the dystopian consequences of human behaviour. After that, the aim was to enrich the stories with pictures and artworks from Europeana galleries. As in the original LS, student groups searched through the recommended Europeana articles to find definition for the following terms: ecology, human ecology, utopia and dystopia. They wrote the definitions on hand-outs they were provided and each group presented one of the definitions.

In the next step, the students virtually visited Europeana galleries to browse artworks that depicted above mentioned topics. These activities took up 90 minutes.

2nd session: Distopian Fiction in the Making 

The students were asked to work in groups to invent and write brief stories about a dystopian future scenario, the same as in the original LS. They wrote stories on apocalyptic topics, but also offered their own real or fantasy solutions to the problems described. Next, they published them on our Padlet board.

(Students working in groups, browsing Europeana content, writing stories)

While some of the group members wrote and published the stories, others selected artworks from Europeana virtual galleries to use them as visuals in their stories.

This part of the implementation took up 45 minutes and they were given homework to create digital books.

The final product was a digital book which contains students’ story and artworks from the Europeana gallery (

Outcomes and Evaluation

The main learning outcome that was achieved with the implementation of the learning scenario “Ecology: a tool to reinvent the future” is to raise awareness about planet Earth preservation. The students studied the main terms connected to ecology, human impact on it, and the way humanity developed its awareness about it. Next outcome is to develop students’ critical thinking which was achieved by doing the research and participating in the discussion. Another outcome is practicing the constructive approach to finding solutions for problems which was put into practice in writing the stories and giving solutions to the presented problems in the stories. The final outcoms are to develop students’ creativity in writing and their ICT skills which was done by writing the stories, browsing Europeana artworks galleries, and creating digital books. I would recommend fellow teachers to use this learning scenario in their own lessons because the students were really engaged, they gained new insights about the topic, and they developed their soft skills. Evaluation consists of a discussion about the written stories and the given solutions for the ecological problems presented in the written stories. Students also comment on the used art works from Europeana and how effective they depict the stories.

Valuable Digital Resource

As an educator, Teaching with Europeana resources provided me with a versatile and valuable tool in my teaching. I would strongly suggest other educators to incoorporate using arts and science digital heritage in their work. They should choose wisely from the variety of the collection and use content which is relevant to their interest and aims.

Did you find this story of implementation interesting? Why don’t you read about the related learning scenario? Ecology: a tool to re-invent the future (EN-CUR-599) created by Maria Caterina Denora

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Public Domain Mark 1.0: the featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana and has been provided by the Albertina.

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