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How did we get here? (Lower primary 3 to 4)

Staff  |  02 August 2012

Let’s take a trip back in time. We can learn how humans cared for nature. Also we can learn how we've hurt nature. Maybe we can find some ways to protect our home?

Earth is born
4 billion years ago…

Our planet is one of a kind. It is not just ours. We share the planet and we have to care for it.

The Bible tells us God creates the world. He makes the sky, the oceans, rocks, animals and us.

Humans built cities
More than two thousand years ago

Humans built cities. This changes nature. Cities often pollute the water and air.

People use wood to build. They also use it for cooking and to stay warm. To build more houses and cities, trees get cut down. This is a problem.

An interest in health
Over a thousand years ago

Years go by and more cities are built. A big illness hits Europe. Many people die. Doctors begin to study what causes illnesses. They learn about clean water. They also learn to not throw rubbish in the streets.

But, they still cut down forests. Some people want to protect the forest. Many cities burn coal rather than wood. This saves trees, but burning coal pollutes the air.

Humans get smarter
250 years ago

Humans learn more about health and nature. There are also lots of new inventions. This is great. But new inventions can make smoke and pollute the air and water.

A work boom
1830 - 1890

This is a time of quick growth. Many people move to cities for work. They work in factories. Lots of factories make smoke. The air becomes dirty from the smoke.

Cities grow quickly. As the cities grow, more trees get cut down. People begin to see they have to protect nature.

Protecting nature
1890 - 1920

Many people join together to protect nature. US President Teddy Roosevelt is one. He and others help protect areas of natural beauty. They create more and more National and state Parks.

Pollution awareness grows
1920 - 1940

Leaders pass laws to stop the air and water from getting dirty. Coasts, rivers and streams begin to be protected. But, there is also a new polluter - petrol for cars.

A first for air pollution
1940 - 1970

A big meeting about dirty air is held. Scientist come from all over the world to the meeting. They share what they know and learn more. It is the first meeting like it.

Scientist also start to learn about carbon dioxide. They find that too much of it in the air is bad for the planet.

Celebrating planet Earth
1970 - 1980

Earth Day was created on 22 April 1970. It is still celebrated today. Also, new technology helps protect our water and air.

But, there’s bad news. Scientist learn our oil will run out.

The effects of pollution
1980 - 1990

Doctors, scientist and leaders see how dirty air, water and food can hurt people. Some people even die. The news shows these stories.

Scientist begin to learn about climate change.
On the bright side, Clean Up Australia Day starts in 1989.

More people care
1990 - 2014

Most scientist begin to say climate change is real. More people care about clean air and water. But, we still hurt nature.

A Green Pope

Pope Francis writes a letter to everyone. He asks for us to love and care for the Earth. He says this is our duty. We have to care for the earth for our kids.

The future

Anything could happen. It’s up to us.

Questions and activity for 'How did we get here?' (Lower primary: year 3 to 4)

1. Where do you see humans helping nature?
2. Where do you see humans hurting nature?
3. What would you change in history to help nature? What would you have happen?


A picture timeline Draw pictures for each period on this timeline. Colour in your picture timeline. When you’re finished, share it with your class.


Topic tags: environmentalissues, scienceandreligion

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