My students have been thinking about the sustainability of our planet, and our ways of living on it. I’ve had my English Language Arts students [grade ten students] working through a unit that I’ve called The Necessary Revolution. The title is not very original, as I’ve lifted if from a great book by Peter Senge, but it works. Students
began the unit with an introduction to Chris Jordan and his work and message. They watched short videos, viewed much of his artwork digitally, and read from his blog. They were asked to respond to Chris’ message in writing by posting their thoughts and opinions as comments on my blog. They also began to study a list of essential vocabulary; words like unsustainable, sustainability, necessary, revolution, citizenship, etc. Next, the students viewed the documentary The 11th Hour. While viewing, student took notes of important facts, information, and viewpoints, and we stopped the film constantly having good discussions. After viewing, my students were expected to write a written response to the film. Follow the link bellow to read their responses (please leave us some feedback).
Another activity I’ve had on the go, is a small-scale tree planting project. I’ve had students in three homerooms in the school planting white spruce tree seedlings. We’ve planted them in small pots to keep in the room for the winter, to care for them, and then eventually move them to a more permanent home in the spring. My students have been measuring, and watering their trees. They’ve even tagged and named their trees.
All of this is just a start, yet I feel that we are heading in the right direction.
Follow the links below to read my students responses, and please, leave us some feedback.