Wake-up call: the true cost of our electronic gadgets

Session 2

mineralsI introduced minerals through this slide. I asked students:

Do you think they are soft or hard?

Where can we find them?

How can we get them?

Where do we use them?


1Children noticed that they are hard, they are in the earth and we get them through digging. I added that they are substances, they usually have crystal structure and provided them with the term “mining” as more appropriate than digging in this case. I told them that these four kinds of minerals are important for electronic gadgets. They were surprised to hear this.



I then showed students 9 screenshots from “Wake up Call”, a short animation from The Gaia Foundation. The screenshots were in chronological order.

First, students worked in pairs. I prepared 9 statements about the screenshots, cut the paper into strips, each with one statement on it, and jumbled them up so that they were not in chronological order. I gave each pair a paper strip. Pairs had to match their statement to a screenshot. I went round the room and helped pairs with language as necessary. [Strips with statements can be downloaded here]

Pairs then read aloud their statement, gave feedback and we checked sequencing. For each statement key words were written on the board and students kept notes. As a homework assignment I handed out a worksheet with all 9 statements this time. They had to read, reflect on the classroom activity, consult their notes and match the statements with the screenshots using numbers 1 to 9. (Answer sheet here)

Session 3

We first read all the statements in class and feedback was given.

We then watched the video.



After watching, we retold the story in class as a speaking and writing activity. Students offered their ideas, I did some minor corrections, wrote it on the board and we ended up with a small paragraph.


As a homework assignment I asked them to write their thoughts about any of these questions which I wrote on the board:

Why do you think the title of the video is “Wake-up call”?

Did you like it? Why? How do you feel about it?

Are there any things that you can now understand better about our electronic gadgets?

What do you think the message of the video is?

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