Goddess Gaia

Goddess Gaia

At Eco-Schools England we firmly believe that all areas of the curriculum can and should be greened, that’s why we are thrilled to share with you a set of resources from the world renowned Hallé orchestra that bring eco to the Arts.

Goddess Gaia is a brand new 20 minute animated cantata that explores the beauty and fragility of the natural world and takes us on a thought provoking journey around the world warning us about the danger of human greed on the environment.

We travel to the four corners of the world. First we explore to the Arctic and see the melting ice and the devastating impact this is having on the polar bears. Next we visit islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans learning about the impact of rising seas, flooding and rubbish. Then we travel down under the sea and observe the huge problem of plastic pollution that is affecting much of the marine life. Finally to the UK, where the plight of our own native wildlife is under the spotlight.

The story asks us all to consider how we can help stop the pollution and destruction of the natural world and what positive things we can do to care for nature, both globally and locally.

A complete classroom resource for teachers, including 3 videos with opportunities for young people to participate through singing and classroom percussion; audio files, creative music project, written teacher information and a comprehensive curriculum pack with suggestions and activities for a wide range of cross-curricular learning covering music, art, dance, citizenship, literacy, maths, and design technology. The Hallé orchestra’s resources are geared for KS2 however as former teachers at Eco-Schools, we believe all their wonderful resources can be adapted to suit the needs of individual classes from Early Years through to Secondary.

To find out more visit www.halle.co.uk/gaia

Steve Pickett, Hallé Education Director- Climate change and maintaining the health of planet Earth is one of the most important issues facing the human race in the twenty-first century and as Music and the Arts can be such a positive and effective tools for getting a message across, I felt that it was important for the Hallé as one of the nation’s principal symphony orchestras to be part of that conversation. Goddess Gaia is the Hallé’s multimedia response to advocating to children, who are our future just how important this subject is to us all.

Tony Mitton, poet and children’s author- When asked to write a text for Goddess Gaia to set to music for children my thoughts soon turned to environmental issues. Greta Thunberg was much in the news and children everywhere were showing interest and concern with the threat to the Earth’s wellbeing and Humankind’s survival. At this time I had recently completed writing a novel which included references to Gaia, the name of the Ancient Greek Goddess of the Earth and also the name given by the environmentalist James Lovelock to his notion that the Planet Earth is a complex system of interdependent creatures, plants, elements and forces. I decided to write the text as a verse text that could be read as literature but also serve as a viable libretto for musical setting. In this text Gaia features as a benevolent and tutelary figure who appears to a human child and takes that child on an instructive journey around the world to make them aware of the state of the planet now in the early 21st Century.

The curriculum ideas are grouped into the following sections, each section beginning with part of the story:

  • Goddess Gaia (Who is she? Myths and Legends)
  • Journey to different environments around the world
    • The Arctic (Problem: Climate change, melting ice, plight of polar bears)
    • Islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans (Problem: Rising water, flooding and emissions pollution)
    • Islands of Floating Rubbish (Problem: Waste)
    • Deep Under Water (Problem: Plastic pollution on marine life)
    • Our Native UK Land (Problem: Destruction of our native wildlife)
    • Learn to Cherish Nature (What can we do?)
    • Creative Music Project

    We are always excited to hear about how you are embedding environmental action into your teaching for Step 4 Curriculum Links, if you have any great ideas for other ways to promote the climate emergency across the Arts please share with us.

    Who knows the next step maybe ‘Eco-Schools the musical!’