Ecological Literacy and A Sense of Wonder

“It’s a Wonderful World”

Two versions of Louis Armstrong’s famous song “It’s a Wonderful World” have been set to pictures in these very short videos. One soundtrack is Armstrong singing, the other the voice of Sir Richard Attenborough speaking the song’s words. Take 7 minutes and view them both. How could they be a useful starting point for having students inquire about what they want to learn ? Which of the two do you think they would choose, and why? Both are stunning; one’s choice may simply reflect one learning style preference over another. But there may be more to it than that!

Making comparisons helps to sharpen thinking. These might even be used as bookends at the beginning and end of a unit. What additional meaning might these images and words have after the study is complete?

As we build a foundation for ecological literacy, we need ways to cultivate a sense of wonder to go alongside the systems thinking, critical thinking, inquiry and problem-solving skills that help our students become thoughtful, capable citizens. 

Rachel Carson of Silent Spring fame said that “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”  Are videos like these one small piece of keeping that inborn sense alive? Try them out! Post a comment and tell us what you’ve learned.

– E.D.

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One thought on “Ecological Literacy and A Sense of Wonder

  1. Both videos are excellent and I would use both!! Every student has their own preferred learning method……videos, reading, experimenting, hearing……depending on their unique strength of senses. Therefore, I recommend that both videos be used. Otherwise, Armstrong for the younger groups and Attenborough for the older groups.

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