This week, our Action Group Work began! Students have been grouped by chosen topics to share, learn and take action to make a positive change here in our neighbourhood. Students have been grouped into three main issues:
- We need to build and protect bird habitats in our neighbourhood.
- We need more green space and plants in our neighbourhood.
- We need to raise awareness about animal-tested products.
On Monday, the groups met for the first time. Their task was to identify the main problem to solve, and brainstorm possible actions they could take. Later in the day the students engaged in a ‘Group Work Challenge’ to bond with their teammates and also pinpoint any challenges (social or otherwise) that the group might face when the action portion of the project begins.
On Tuesday, students began to share what they knew and were passionate about with regards to their topics. As a team, students listened to one another and worked together to synthesize the teams collective knowledge on a page of their project outline. Groups also developed key research questions to guide their learning.
From Wednesday to Friday, the focus was ‘getting the big picture’. A visit to the library and some pre-selected information from the teachers were used to gain further knowledge about the issues needed to be addressed. The students were reminded of art of persuasion, and were keen to ‘know everything’ about their issue so that they could teach others and raise awareness.
We have been so pleased to see how collaborative and enthusiastic the students have been in only one short week of work. It goes to show how engaging it can be to allow students choice in their learning. Beyond the action groups, we have seen the students interacting with each other differently during break times as well: creating ant and inch-worm habitats, and even experimenting with types of natural ‘pesto’ to see which plants the insects and worms at the park are drawn to!
At this point, many families have come forward offering to help with our action projects, which we greatly appreciate! Your efforts and added enthusiasm are infectious, and we love to see that the children are showing up to school energized and ready to keep going! No spring-time energy fade for these kids!
Have a wonderful weekend!