Context for this Lesson
Focus Questions: How can we get a message of change out to the school community? What can kids do to elicit change?
Goals: To define and explore what change and deforestation mean and how they affect us. To identify ways to get information about deforestation to the school community. To get into groups for projects based on interest.
Introduce the word change and ask the group to help define it. "When I finish talking, let’s see if we can show what the word change means to us by using our bodies. Standing in our own space, with no sound I would like you to make yourself into a statue of the word change on the count of 5-4-3-2-1. Great. Relax. We are going to make our statues for change again. And this time I am going to ask half the group to help tell me what they see in their classmates’ statues of change. There are no right or wrong answers, we aren’t trying to guess what the statues are, we are going to talk about what we see them doing and give interpretations of what we see. We are going to make two circles by splitting the group in half, the inside circle will face the outside circle and the outside circle will face the inside circle." Count off half the group and have them form inside circle facing out, have the remaining students create outside circle and face in so the circle are looking at each other. "On the count of five, standing in our own space, with no sound I would like you to make yourself into a statue of the word change on the count of 5-4-3-2-1." The outside circle unfreezes and walks around to look at other group. They describe what they see, what that has to do with change. Then the outside group freezes and we repeat with the inside group describing and giving interpretations.
Vocabulary Statues (Deforestation)
Introduce the word deforestation and ask the group to help define it. "The topic or word we’ll be talking about is deforestation, can anyone tell me what deforestation means? When I finish talking, let’s see if we can show what the word deforestation means to us, maybe what it looks like or how it makes us feel, by using our bodies. Standing in our own space, with no sound I would like you to make yourself into a statue of the word deforestation on the count of 5-4-3-2-1. Great. Before I unfreeze part of the group I’ll ask you to remember there are no right or wrong answers we are going to talk about what we see them doing and give interpretations of what we see. On the count of 5 standing in our own space, with no sound I would like you to make yourself into a statue of the word deforestation on the count of 5-4-3-2-1." The outside circle unfreezes and walks around to look at other group. They describe what they see, what that has to do with deforestation. Then the outside group freezes and we repeat with the inside group describing and giving interpretations.
Transition: "Great! Now that we have an understanding of what change and deforestation mean -we’re going to move to an activity where we answer some questions about change."
Questions from a Hat
Gather students in a circle and explain that the hat will be passed around, and when it gets to them they must draw a question from the hat and answer it. Read questions aloud before starting for students to think about. Split the group in two smaller groups by going around and assigning them the number one or number two, have them hold up the appropriate number of fingers and move to either side creating two circles. Remind students there are no wrong answers- these are their ideas. Then challenge them to be able to answer in less then two sentences. Check for understanding by asking, ”Give me a thumbs up if you understand the instructions. Great.”
- What is one way to let people know about deforestation?
- How can we tell other students and teachers at our school about deforestation?
- What changes can students and teachers at school make to help save trees?
Bring the class back to the carpet saying “I heard some great ideas! Now let’s see how we could use them in our school community and share with the whole group.”
Reflect with group and scribe on the board:
- What are some ways we could use to give a message to the school community? (Title Mediums for change)
- What might we want to let the school community know they can do to help save trees? (Messages for change)
Transition: The class have done an excellent job today of working through what change and deforestation mean. Later we’ll be working to try to create change to help stop deforestation by working to get the message out to our school community. But before I leave I want to invite you to play a game that will help us create different communities within this classroom."
"I have a challenge for you as a class. When I say go I want to see how quickly you can group yourselves together by your hair color without talking. Ready and go." Give students a ten-second warning, have them explain why they grouped the way they did. Repeat with type of shoes, favorite class and then move to favorite way to get a message out (listing choices we Identified earlier). Once students are in these groups have them sit where they are and if time allows tell why they chose that group and why they would give a message the way they chose.
Transition: "Today we’ve been talking about change and I know your class is excited about trying to change the way people look at deforestation. The groups we’re in right now about using (insert methods/mediums here) to send a message of change to our school community will be the groups and ways we’ll be using for our project on deforestation."
What is one thing you remember from/enjoyed doing in today’s class?
Hold up your fingers to show me on a scale of 1-5 how we think we did in respecting ourselves, our space and our work today. 1 means we have a lot of things to work on and 5 means we did excellent and almost never needed a reminder to be respectful.
Students group themselves into mediums/methods that they will use to create a poster/skit/song/poem/letter or some other project to persuade people to care about deforestation.