Cresthaven Public School
Gillis Green Team
- 10 Challenges Completed
- 7 Challenges not completed
First off, we brainstormed various ways that people get around that use energy. Next we thought of energy-free ways to travel. Then we thought about the beautiful winter wonderland outside our classroom window. What fun ways can we get around in winter that don't require energy? This is inspired our "when it's white outside, you can be green" themed posters. Our aim is to encourage people to get outside in winter and choose a method of getting around that's both good for their bodies and good for the planet. Which way to travel would you choose - sled, snowshoe, ski or skate?
Do You Really Need It?
Students completed the first part of the challenge by listed 5 things they use often that require energy and estimating how long they use the items per day. A sorting activity was then created that used everyone's ideas and students decided whether they thought each item was a "want" or a "need." Students were asked to tell about one item that they found difficult to sort. Since we learning virtually right now, each day is filled with hours of screen time. On top of that, the students often play online games during recess and at lunch. Some of these games they play together so it is a chance for them to socialize but it is MORE screen time. We decided to spend a day engaged in screen-free activities when it wasn't learning time. Students shared what they did, what they disliked about it, what they enjoyed about it and whether they might go screen-free more often in the upcoming week.
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
First we watched the Carbon Monster and Green Ninja videos to learn about carbon footprints. We used the Go Green resource to help us calculate our carbon footprints, represented by how many rings are coloured in on our foot templates. Then on the backside, we recorded some goals for reducing our carbon footprints to share with others.
Limited Edition: Game Time!
We learned about Canada's food waste by reading a Canadian Reader article. We identified ways food is wasted and how to reduce our waste by highlighting this information in two different colours. We used this info to complete the challenge sheet. Then we played a game of charades to act out the big ideas from the text.
One Hour No Power
We just returned to in-person class after 6 weeks of online learning. That was a LOT of screen time. What more perfect time than this to take a real tech break and complete this challenge? During our first 4 days back in class, we spent 4-5 hours a day completely powered down. No devices, nothing projected on a screen to look at, no lights on. Even at other times of the day, we kept lights to a minimum and only used the large screen in our classroom to project short videos or information for brief periods of time. We didn't touch any devices until the last hour of class on Friday. 44 eyes say thank you.
Round and Round it Goes
We looked at cycles in nature, thinking back to some previous learning about the interconnections between plants and animals in the forest. Then we looked at the linear approach we typically take to how we make stuff. Using my jacket as an example, we began to look at a closed loop model. Made from reclaimed fabric & with insulation made from plastic water bottles, it was a great concrete example to introduce the idea of a circular economy. We watched a few videos that helped explain this further. Then, using the "how we make stuff" website as a resource, students created infographics to demonstrate how we can do things better!
While learning about food waste, we found out about the problem of "ugly food." Sometimes perfectly good food never even makes it to the store because it grew in a funny shape. It has taken immense resources to grow it and then it is just thrown away. We also throw out food well before we need to. Food that is no longer fresh is often still perfectly good for soups or smoothies. Food rotting in landfill releases methane gas. Students tackled one of these problems and shared their learning through creating comics that urge us to waste less food. Comics were shared on Twitter to educate others.
To begin this challenge, students worked in small groups to share their ideas on Jamboard about what waste is, why it matters and how we might reduce it. Then we worked for 5 days to track our waste. We shared our results as we went along as part of our math learning. At the end of the 5 days we calculated how many items we kept from landfill and combined our totals. We also used the data we collected to make some digital bar graphs.
What’s For Lunch?
We've been learning about the Eat Well Plate. We chose favourite fruits, vegetables, proteins & whole grains to make our own plates that would represent a balanced meal we would enjoy. We researched which of our choices can come from local farmers and the symbol to look for in the grocery store that indicates food from Ontario. We also learned it often depends on the season whether or not we can by it from local farners. We looked at where our other foods are from and talked about the benefits in terms of freshness & energy use when you buy local foods.
What’s Old is New Again
Did you know that it is estimated that about 145 million Valentine cards are sent each year? Think about the trees. Think about the energy. And that's just to make those cards. Then think about the energy and resources it takes to deliver them too! We decided we would show our love this year with ZERO Waste Valentines. Students were challenged to make a heart out of materials they had a home. (No paper, no waste, create with things you have.) Art one minute and then right back to its original use the next minute. Zero Waste. Students then photographed the hearts and inserted the images into Google Draw to create the rest of their graphic designs. An added challenge was to think about the material the heart was made form and try to come up with some kind of pun. Such clever Grade 2/3s. Watch out Hallmark because he comes the Gillis Green Team! (As an aside, the teacher may have had just as much fun created a bunch of examples as the kids did with this task. Hee hee.)