What can you see? How can you help?
Last year, some teachers in our PLN engaged in a project titled What Can You See? Classes took photos of what they could see outside their windows and created a way to share their view. iBooks, Quicktime movies, Comics and blog posts displayed the things students could see within their schoolyard. Classes compared the photos and discussed the similarities. Over the course of the year, some classes engaged in SKYPE calls to further their questions and comparisons of schoolyards. As the seasons changed, students learned about the differences in a schoolyard in Ontario verses schoolyards in Mexico, Hawaii and other location. It was a rewarding project for both teachers and students. Teachers tweeted and blogged and students talked and shared their comparisons. Some of the interactions are posted on the We Can See Blog at http://wecanseeprojectsharingspace.blogspot.ca/
A reflection discussion occurred with Jocelyn Schmidt, Heidi Theis, Carmela Sita and myself, Angie Harrison. We reviewed how the project went and noted the benefits for our learners. We want to engage in the project again with our new group of students in the Fall. However, we feel a need to take this project one step further. We discussed ways to include a social justice lens that is appropriate for young learners.
Here is our Invitation to play for 2014-2015
Join us in a collaborative project that will engage your students and make a difference.
Details: At different points throughout the year, ask your students to create something that will show others what they see in their schoolyard. Use a format that works for your learners. eBooks, Quicktime Movies, Comics, picture books, audio files or any other method that is easily shared virtually.
Next, with your learners think of a way they can help. It can be as simple as helping people in your school or community. It might be participating in a food drive, helping in a seniors’ home or your class might be a part of a global project. One suggestion, your class could write picture books for your local Children’s Hospital. Your class might find an environmental issue to support or your class might respond to a crisis that is happening in your community or in the world.
A blog will be used to share what you see and ways you are helping. If you wish, you can connect with classes and SKYPE and talk about how you are helping others.
Classes could participate in this project once, or several times throughout the year. They could show progress of one way they are helping or they might show different ways they help throughout the year.
Our hope is this project will help students understand that we can all make a difference in the world. (no matter how old we are or where we live)
Here are some resources that might help launch the project.
If Everybody Did by Jo Ann Stover
How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer
Ordinary Mary’s Extraordinary Deed by Emily Pearson
Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts
Lily and the Paper Man by Rebecca Upjohn
Lots of other picture books and lessons listed at http://www.arteducators.org/news/national-convention/Sarah_Ryder_Using_Children%E2%80%99s_Literature_to_Teach_Ideas_of_Social_Justice.pdf
Resources for helping:
Indicate on the blog that you are interested in participating. Use the blog post links to your class’ view of the schoolyard.
Tweet using the hashtag #WCYseehelp