Seeing the world through nature

Seeing the World through Nature is a new inspiring environmental education project to assist teachers of blind and visually-impaired pupils.

This international project is a collaboration between the Polish Society for the Protection of Birds (the leading partner), BirdLife Malta, BirdWatch Ireland, BirdLife Cyprus and the Polish Association for the Blind, and is funded by the European Commission through its Erasmus+ funding stream.

The project kicked off in January 2020 with a meeting between all partners hosted by BirdLife Malta at Salina Nature Reserve.

The aim of the project is to develop environmental educational resources for teachers who work with blind and visually impaired children, in consultation with international experts in this field. These resources, as well as a mobile application to assist children in the recognition of birds, will then be made available free of charge to educators in each of the partner countries, and across the BirdLife International partnership.

Everyone should have equal opportunities to learning and this project is a step forward in doing so. Moreover, the project will strengthen the confidence of teachers to deliver nature based learning and integrate it into their curriculum subjects.

Whilst BirdLife partners are bringing their expertise in the field of nature education, the Polish Association for the Blind’s experience and knowledge is invaluable on the project to adapt the resources accordingly.  

The project is also drawing inspiration from Spring Alive, the ongoing multi-national environmental education project centered around migratory birds, operated by BirdLife partners across Europe, Central Asia and Africa.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. These publications reflect the views only of the author, and the European Commission and National Agency of the Erasmus+ Programme cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Educational blocks

Ready-made resources for teachers of preschools and primary school children with visual impairments to engage their pupils with nature through interactive, sensory, outdoor and indoor activities, focused on birds and their habitats.

Block 1 – How to become a good birdwatcher
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 2 – Wandering out in autumn
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 3 – In the bird pantry
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 4 – Winter’s not so bad
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 5 – Birds living next to us
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 6 – Spring migration
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 7 – Why do birds build nests?
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 8 – Which birds live in farmland?
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 9 – How birds care for their young
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 10 – Forest birds
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Block 11 – Wetland birds
Educational activities (English)
Educational activities (adapted and translated in Maltese)

Teacher's guide

The guide is addressed to teachers (in either special or mainstream schools) who are interested in learning how to use the educational material, as well as to organisations, clubs, etc. that organise afterschool programmes for visually impaired children. It is also intended for institutions and organisations that work with teachers of visually impaired children and plan to train teachers on how to use the resources of the Seeing the World through Nature project. Based on who is using the document, users will find some parts more relevant than others.

You can see the teacher’s guide here.

 

Mobile app

An important resource that supplements the educational package is the project’s app, called ‘Meet the birds’. The app is designed for visually impaired people who want to learn about birds in the field. It is also useful for people without visual impairments. It contains descriptions and sound recordings of the birds most typically found in the regions of northern, central and southern Europe represented by Ireland, Poland, Cyprus and Malta. The user has the option of setting the font size and adjusting the screen contrast as suits them best.

The app is available to download from Google Play and the AppStore on either Android or iOS smartphones or tablets.