Here’s a story that helps teach children about the very real impact of climate change. It includes a set of “wondering” questions through which invites children to respond to what they have heard.
Click here for a PDF version of the full instructions including a colouring page of a woman farmer in Bangladesh, which children can colour after they return to their seats.
Tanisha lives with her mother and little brother in a small village in the south west of Bangladesh, in the Khulna District. Tanisha and her family are small-scale farmers, growing rice and vegetables on their small plot of land. They also share a fish pond with many neighbours. They used to grow enough food to feed themselves, but things are tougher because the weather has been changing. It’s hotter than it used to be, and the rains don’t come when they normally would. Sometimes there isn’t enough rain. Sometimes it rains so much that it floods! There are also more big storms. These changes have made it more difficult for her family and the other families in her village to grow enough food.
Tanisha remembers a really bad storm a few years ago. It came from the ocean and flooded almost everything! The storm ruined the fields and fish ponds and washed away the roads. It also filled the fields and canals with salty ocean water. Rice and vegetables don’t grow very well in salty water. It became very difficult for Tanisha’s family to find enough food.
Then, with the help of a local organization, the people in Tanisha’s village started making changes. They started re-digging canals around their fields so that fresh water would be available year-round, even if the rains didn’t come. They fixed the fish ponds and the roads. They even planted trees. One of the women planting the trees told Tanisha that the trees’ roots would help the road stay in place, even if there was a flood.
Tanisha’s mother learned more about farming: how to use the fresh water in the canals and fish pond to grow more than one crop in a year, and how to grow a healthy vegetable garden. Tanisha also helped her mother plant a fruit tree in their yard. She can’t wait to taste this new fruit!
Even though the climate is changing, Tanisha and her village are learning to adapt to the changes in the weather and grow enough food for themselves. Still, they need people around the world to cooperate and do everything they can to keep the planet healthy and to support people like Tanisha.
These are suggested questions to spark conversation and wondering for the children (and congregation). After each “wondering” allow the children to respond.
- I wonder what it is like in Bangladesh. I wonder how it is different from Canada.
- I wonder what it is like to be in a big storm or flood like Tanisha was. I wonder what happened to her home and her things.
- I wonder what plants need in order to grow. I wonder what I would do to help grow food.
God our Creator and Provider, we thank you for providing for our needs. We think of people around the world at a time when the climate is changing and making it more difficult for people to get enough food. Please be with those people who suffer from the impacts of climate change. Bless the people who are working to help provide food for their communities and also help us know what to do in our own lives to help. Be with us all as we live in your creation. Amen.