Setting the Stage
Ask students to describe their communities and where they live. This could include their families, neighbors, as well as a description of the natural world around them. Then, introduce the following quote from writer, linguist, and activist Helena Norberg-Hodge. In her book, Ancient Futures, Norberg-Hodge writes about her experiences with traditional cultures and their connection to the natural world:
“A sense of place means helping ourselves and our children to see the living environment around us: reconnecting with the sources of our food, perhaps even growing some of our own, and learning to appreciate the cycles of seasons and the characteristics of the flora and fauna. Ultimately, this involves a spiritual awakening that comes from making a connection with others, and with nature. It requires us to see the world within us—to experience more consciously the great interdependent web of life, of which we ourselves are part.”
Ask students what they think about this quote. Do they feel connected to the place they live? Why or why not? What connects them to this place?