Educational materials on the critical role of healthy soils

Photo credit: FAO

The series “Dig It: The Secrets of Soils” is available in multiple languages.

New initiative looks to bring soils into classrooms around the globe

A new series of educational materials is teaching children the importance of healthy soils for our food, environment, livelihoods and well-being.

Developed by FAO and the Washington D.C.-based National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) as part of the 2015International Year of Soils (IYS2015), the materials target children aged 5 to 14, using word games, puzzles, drawing activities and other interactive elements.

The four educational booklets are separately designed for beginner, intermediate, advanced and young adult students, with an accompanying educator’s guide for teachers.

Originally produced in English to complement the exhibit on soils at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the materials have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Arabic and Russian, and the content has been slightly adapted to suit the needs of different FAO member countries. All of the booklets are available for download on the FAO International Year of Soils website.

FAO is now collaborating with governments who wish to translate the materials into additional languages to be used in primary and secondary school curricula. Once finalized, all of the materials will be available online for free use by member countries, teachers and students, just in time for the beginning of the new school year in the Northern Hemisphere.

Read the full article: FAO

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.