I began blogging about my sustainability unit, which is a unit I created for my Master’s of Education Capstone project through Concordia College, but was so bogged down by writing my actual Capstone that I stopped sharing the unit about halfway through! I’ve had so many requests to share more information that it’s my summertime mission to complete the unit for you all.
Just to recap, the first six lessons focused on interpretive skills. My students read some articles about sustainability and explored sustainable efforts made in Paraguay and Bolivia. I believe interpretive skills set the groundwork for interpersonal and presentational because they provide them with vocabulary they will need in those other activities and it also gives them some knowledge of the studied concept. That said, I was the most excited for today’s activities because this is when students shifted from learning about something to using what they had learned.
So here is how day 7 went:
- we reviewed our I Cans from the first day and identified which ones we could do and which ones we had yet to cover.
- students negotiated a teacher’s room that they wanted to evaluate. Students had to tell me Quiero analizar… (I want to analyze…) and they had to tell me why they wanted to analyze that particular teacher’s room. I also asked them aloud if they thought the room would be sustainable-friendly or not. Once a teacher’s room was selected it was out of the running for other students to choose because I wanted a thorough analysis of our building. My advanced kids raised their hands first, but once everyone discovered that it was a first come-first serve kind of selection process hands shot up in the air!
- students were provided this handout to help them analyze their chosen room. I reminded students that the information they discovered today would be used in their final presentation.
- students went out into the school and analyzed their chosen rooms. This took up our remaining class time.
In the future I would like to find an authentic checklist that students could take out into the classroom. I think my handout was a good starting place, but I also acknowledge that whether a teacher has plants or not in their classroom does not really constitute sustainability. This is something that became glaringly obvious in the presentations – but I will share more about that later on!