Exploring the Landscape / Identifying Principles


Teaching Principles with Cards Video
Teaching Principles with Cards Video

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the session the students will be able to:

  • Get familiarized with permaculture principles
  • Find permaculture principles everywhere
  • Give examples of how permaculture principles can be applied in any design

Duration: 30 min

What is needed?

Just a group of permies, yourself and a place to explore. You can also use cards with the principles. If so, you will need at least one card per person.

This activity is one of the easiest ways of teaching principles through active learning. It is perhaps best to be used right after introducing the design principles (Holmgren or Mollison). Everyone is given a card with at least one principle. The whole group is invited to walk around in silence and in their own, and think about the principle, trying to find it represented in nature. After that, the group meets and shares in a round what they have seen. Then they should be given some more minutes to think about how they can apply these principles to a personal design. They can write it down or share it in a round, depending on the time left.

See a video of a similar session given by Rakesh at the Spain meeting.

Choosing Content (and Methods) for an “Introduction to Permaculture” Course

Joel Rosenberg presenting
Joel Rosenberg presenting

In this article I offer a “junior teacher’s” perspective to selecting content and methods for a two day introductory course. I also asked Graham Bell, one of the most experienced permaculture teachers, his take on designing a full Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course.

See a separate article with timetable, core curriculum and Graham Bell’s thoughts, here.

I see the intro as a taster, as a way to get people together and get inspired to learn more. The content for an Intro isn’t “regulated” whereas the curriculum of a PDC is based on Bill Mollison’s book Permaculture – A Designer’s Manual.

Continue reading “Choosing Content (and Methods) for an “Introduction to Permaculture” Course”

Ecology Basics

Session Length: 90 min
Learning objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • Say what Ecology means, how it differs from other fields, and understand their and human role in it.
  • Describe Main Principles of Ecology with examples for human design
  • Explain in more detail 3 of ecological processes
  • Draw a typical cycle of materials
  • Draw different producers and consumers and decomposers in the Trophic PyramidUnderstand the importance of webs, networks, relationships and cooperation in Ecosystems
  • Explain the S-curve graph in terms of time, diversity, stability, succession
  • Consider the task of pc designers to create a cultivated ecology.

Resources needed
Posters of cycles, paper and colourful pens, poster of S-curve, poster of some ecological principles, safety pins, big red round cushion.

Session Plan
For details on how to run this session please download the following pdf:  Session Plan Ecology Basics Kirsty Heron-1


Session length: 90 minutes
Learning outcomes

By the end of the session, participants will be able to:

  • read landscapes and point out microclimates
  • map microclimates in a house or garden
  • describe how to modify extremes of climate
  • know how to make the most of exisitng microclimates in design
  • consider strategies for small and large landscapes
  • do a microclimate study

Posters, big paper and pens, flipcharts with drawings on, handout microclimate study copies 1 per pair

Session plan
Please download the following pdf for details on how to run this session SessionPlan Microclimates Kirsty Heron-1

Zone 4

Session length 90 min.
Learning outcomes
By the end of the session, participants will be able to

  • list all the harvestable products from a forest/treesplants
  • understand why it is important to plant back the number of trees we consume in a lifetime- and more!
  • State characteristics of the Zone 4 in terms of structure of plants (and are there any buildings)
  • map where Zone 4 could be located in urban, suburban and rural landscapes
  • describe site considerations, establishment phase and maintenance for Harvest forest

For details on how the session is run, please download the following pdf Session Plan Zone 4 Kirsty Heron-1

Template for Session Plans

Session Plans are needed to structure the time available with students and to become clear about outcomes and activities.

Here find a template that can be used to create a session plan: DOC  |  PDF

To learn more about how to fill in such a template, please refer to the microteach session by Cat: How to Create a Session Plan.

If you have session plans that you would be prepared to share with the EPT-network, please send them to compost@permateachers.eu

Session Plan Collection from Andy Goldring


Andy Goldring
Andy Goldring

Andy Goldring, UK Permaculture Association, has shared seven lessons plans:

1. Real Wealth and Wiser Money


  • Explain different forms of exchange that make up a local economy
  • Know that there are economic strategies available to help support and develop  local economies
  • Make links between ‘green economy’ approaches and permaculture.
  • Explain that local self-reliance needs a local economy and vica-versa!

2. Design Overview


  • Explain the design process – the sequence in which it unfolds
  • Use and explain techniques such as zoning, sector analysis, sectional elevation and the PASE sheet
  • Get more information about a wide range of additional tools and methods that can be used.

Continue reading “Session Plan Collection from Andy Goldring”

Session Plan Collection from Monika Frank

Monika Frank, France, has shared some lessons plans:

1. Design Process and Elements of Permaculture Design

A 90 minute session


  1. Know different steps in design cycle / process
  2. Know why it is important to follow a design process and that it is cyclical
  3. Get the idea that permaculture design does not only mean planning a physical site
  4. Get an impression of how a design can be presented

2. A Ballgame 

A Simple Fun Game to be used as Energiser

Continue reading “Session Plan Collection from Monika Frank”

Didactic Analysis Model

mdaDidactic analysis is a model to prepare an educational activity. It takes you through the steps and elements of the learning experience.

Starting situation (Beginsituatie): collect information about the state of existing competencies and proficiencies of your learners. Add information about other characteristics like learning style and cognitive development for your target audience.

mind-map-rubricOutcomes (Doelstelling): what do you expect your learners to achieve in this learning experience. Use SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) criteria to formulate operational outcomes – in terms of demonstrated behavior. Creating a rubric may be useful. A rubric is a matrix of competencies, levels of proficiency and matching behavior. It is a set of criteria for grading.

Continue reading “Didactic Analysis Model”

Session Plan: Teaching PC Design Principles the Open Space Way

08-introducing-the-timetableShared by Antonio Scotti, As. Cambium Permacultura en Formación, Spain, October 2103

In this session, I use Open Space Technology as an inspiration to design a session about the teaching of the design principles for large groups, where some of the participants may have some prior understanding of them, and can help the others who don’t.
Learning outcomes: the students have been exposed to the permaculture design principles, and have a basic understanding of each of them, so that they can explain them to other students and give real life examples of their application.
Continue reading “Session Plan: Teaching PC Design Principles the Open Space Way”

Teaching Tool: How to Create a Session Plan

Cathrine Dolleris presented how to create a session plan on the 25th of September 2013 in Mas Franch.

The session presents learning outcomes and planning of your session as a tool to become a more confident teacher.  Notes from the session are coming soon.

A video from this session follows: