“The Little Prince” book as an environmental education tool
“The little prince” is a contemporary fairy-tale, translated in 300 languages. It is the most translated book in the world. The author (Antoine de Saint-Exupery) wanted to show us modern ages problems. The author’s message can be interpreted in many different ways, depending on the reader. The Porto Conte Park, in Alghero, has been used as a natural science and environment group lesson. The Little Prince, through his love for the rose, for the animals, found out what love is and its importance.
The little prince is a boy that traveled from outer Space to Earth in hopes he will find out something new. He wanted to use his journey to get to know himself better and the others. The author Antoine de Saint-Exupery was born in Lyon, 29th of June 1900. He was a French writer and a pilot known as Saint-ex. He got famous for “The little prince” published in 1943. During the II. World War he worked as a war pilot and he died in 1944, when the German forces crashed his plane over the Mediterranean Sea. In mid-1943, exploiting his legendary name, he succeeded in assigning war missions to North Africa on a P-38 aircraft. In 44 he became a friend of photojournalist John Phillips and together they arrived in Alghero. Antoine staid in Alghero for about two months. He spent days between one mission and another, in a house located next to Porto Conte beach.
The naturalistic itinerary takes place in the same places where the author lived, the Port of Conte in Alghero, a wonderful place rich in plant and animal endemism. The itinerary is divided into 5 steps and every step leads us to reflect on the nature and the time that we run fast. Time that does not allow us to see and appreciate the beauties of life and nature.
Step 1 – Departure
- Part of chapter XI: “On the morning of departure, he set his planet in order.”
- Activity: Do you want to go on a journey to discover new places?
Step 2 – The powers of the snake
- Part of chapter XVII: The little prince smiled: “You do not seem very powerful… you do not even have paws… you can not even walk… (…) I can carry you further than a bastion,” said the snake.
- Activity: Carefully observe the area you are in: there are signs of the presence of animals?
Step 3 – The uniqueness of rose
- Part of chapter VII: And if I know a unique flower in the world that does not exist anywhere, except in my planet, and that a small sheep can suddenly destroy
- Activity: Observe the plants along the path you are going through.
Step 4 – A buoy that looks like a hat
- Part of chapter I: My design was not the design of a hat. It was the design of a buoy that digested an elephant.
- Activity: Now concentrate on the land area enclosed within the square and draw what you see.
Step 5 – The pills merchant
- Part of chapter XXIII: He was a merchant of perfect pills that calmed thirst. Swallowed one by one a week and no longer felt the need to drink. “Why do you sell this stuff?” said the little prince. “It’s a big time economy,” said the merchant. “Experts have made calculations, saving fifty minutes a week.” “And what is it about these fifty minutes?” “He does what he wants …” “I, said the little prince, “if I had fifty minutes to spend, I would walk slowly slowly toward a fountain …”
- Activity: 53 ‘per week, are about 8’ a day… Suppose you have 8 minutes now: what would you do?
It was a beautiful activity that made us think about teachers during the Educational day. It will be surely also exciting for our students. My students are reading the book, during Italian lessons. they are going to analyze the part about the feelings that the book arises and I look forward to proving my students with my own emotions and reflections on the immensity and perfection of nature. Nothing is there by chance.
Article by: Costantina Cossu, Scientix Ambassador.
Tags: book, Environment, field activities
Really a nice idea! I’d like to have this exciting experience!
This is awesome! In my working group we produce physics- and astronomy-based educational material mainly for high school. Recently, together with other colleagues, we started to create a few exercises using the physics from “The Little Prince”. Moreover, written by Professor F. Palla, there’s a very nice book about this topic: https://www.ibs.it/little-prince-s-universe-libro-generic-contributors/e/9788894099737
Molto interessante. Complimenti
Molto interessante e stimolante per gli alunni !!
Extraordinary ideas. I will adapt and use them for my 6-7 year old students in my future activities. Thank you very much for share it.
It’ s a very good idea. Storytelling is becoming more and more an important tool to involve and catch students attention!