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Integral ecology questions and activities

Michele Frankeni  |  07 May 2020

Read What is Integral Ecology? in the winter edition of Australian Catholics and take part in the following questions and activities.


  • Who is St Francis of Assisi? Give examples of how he was generous and self-giving, how he cared for creation, and how he cared for the poor and outcast.
  • What do you understand by the term integral ecology?
  • Why do you think the poor will be affected the most by severe changes in weather? What are the likely effects on Australian weather patterns and food growing? What are the likely effects for islands in the South Pacific?


1. Explaining interconnectedness. The Covid-19 pandemic is a real-time demonstration of how interconnected we are as people, and with our environment. That a virus that began half a world away could spread to cause such sickness and economic devastation demonstrates clearly the effect we can have on each other and creation.

For this research task choose an activity or item and explain how the parts work together. For example, how does an engine work? What happens if you don’t ensure the parts are lubricated? What are El Nino or El Nina events and how do they affect the weather patterns in Australia? When you are baking, why do you follow certain steps? When designing a Lego project, how do you make the parts work together.

You can choose to make your explanations as a written project, a physical demonstration, or a TED-type talk.

2. Think about your lives and how you intersect with people and nature. What activities can you undertake to protect nature and the people in your lives? Are there environment groups or organisations such as Vinnies that you can join? Are you able to donate time and money to helping others in your community?

3. Visit the website and join the worldwide day of prayer or take part in some of the other activities.


Read or summarise What is Integral Ecology? in the winter edition of Australian Catholics. Talk with the students how things in their lives are inter-connected.

Magnet mania

The objective of this activity is for students to accept personal accountability for taking care of the world. There will be a visual reminder of everyone’s responsibility to care for the world and everything in it.

Discuss with the students ways in which they can care for creation. Ideas could include pictures of litter free beaches or parks. Students could ensure they pick up their litter or perhaps even make a game of picking up five pieces of litter at the beach before enjoying the beach. Can they do something to ensure native animals have places to live? Have they kept in contact with someone who may be lonely?

After discussing various ideas then ask each child to decorate an index card with the question ‘What did I take care of today?’ Glue a magnet to the back of each card and tell the children to put the magnets on their refrigerators at home to remind themselves and their families to care for God’s world.


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