Showing posts with label Climate change. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Climate change. Show all posts

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Understanding Urban Sustainability

Our Grade 11 and 12 Green Industries program offers students a great opportunity to think critically about issues related to sustainability in urban environments. Recently, students in the Grade 11 class worked in small teams to plan and build sustainable farms.



This activity built on prior learning in which students looked at the components of soil. As part of this study, students learned how to use food scraps, newspaper and worms to maintain vermicomposters. This device produces “black gold,” a nutrient-dense soil additive.




Students then worked to design and build their sustainable farms; these farms include important real-life elements as seeds, aeration, and irrigation, as well as the aforementioned “black gold” soil additive. Having to develop a marketing plan for the promotion of their farm prototype adds another authentic learning dimension to the activity.



Students in this program have many opportunities for the kind of hands-on learning described in this entry. Besides engaging them fully, this approach also helps students learn to be adaptive problem solvers.

Thursday, 4 June 2015

Greenwood's Grade 7 Climate Change Revolution

Recently, Grade 7 students completed a unit of work focused on gaining a better understanding of the key issues related to climate change. 

Having watched the documentary Revolution by acclaimed Toronto filmmaker Rob Stewart, students were tasked with orchestrating a public awareness campaign focused on an environmental issue of their choice. The aim of this task was to raise the environmental consciousness of the students, as well as develop their ability to learn, interpret and synthesize geographical information and data.

Students were challenged to select one of the global issues presented in the film, choosing from:

  • Climate change
  • Deforestation
  • Overfishing
  • Ocean acidification
  • Saving human life
Once they had made their selection, students had to conduct further research on their topic and then generate a public awareness campaign using a minimum of three communication outlets.

This project was differentiated based on students’ interest. Students were then able to further personalize their project by choosing the manner in which they communicated their message. While all students had to demonstrate the ability to explain the concept of sustainability and defend their point of view, they were able to show this in a number of ways. Some students created visual advertisements and others redesigned the poster for Revolution to reflect a focus on their issue.

For a period of time surrounding the project, the Greenwood community was made aware of these issues while students lobbied for support through petitions and utilized their social media accounts to spread the word online. Students also contacted politicians across Ontario directly to share their concerns. They even received a response from the Office of the Prime Minister, thanking the students from Greenwood for their intelligent communication about their environmental concerns.

Ultimately, the Grade 7 students developed their ability to locate and record geographical information and present and defend a point of view. They not only improved their awareness of environmental sustainability, but also raised the consciousness of the Greenwood community in regards to these important issues.

As climate change looks likely to impact future generations more significantly than previous generations, this foray into social activism (with support from Mr. Harper himself, no less!) was a valuable exercise that will hopefully encourage the students to engage further, as active global citizens.

Samuel Clark
Teacher, Social Studies, Health & Physical Education