- 13 Challenges Completed
- 4 Challenges not completed
A Green-Powered Canada
Option 2: We talked about four ways of powering Canada which are considered green: sun, wind, falling water and the tides. We discussed the pros and cons of each. We illustrated these four power sources by drawing them on paper. We watched one of the suggested videos. We focused on wind power and completed the worksheet with information we discovered about how the wind can create power to "green" Canada. This worksheet and some of our drawings are attached.
We brainstormed various means of transportation. The suggestions were recorded on a T-chart with smart options in one column and less smart options in the other column. The sorting rule was not shared with the class. The Kinder students were challenged to discover the reason why their suggestions were entered in either column. One student figured out that the reason was that items on the left used gas while those on the right did not. Next, each student was invited to illustrate a smart transport option e.g. bike, scooter, skateboard, walk, run, electric car/bus. These illustrations were used to create a collage poster which depicted smart transport options to the entire school when posted on a hallway bulletin board. A photo of the poster is attached.
Do You Really Need It?
We talked about wants and needs. We completed an activity sheet where we sorted four needs and four wants. We glued the needs (medicine, sun, sleep, clothes) and wants (dog, ball, phone, iPad) pictures in the appropriate boxes. We completed an activity sheet based on family needs. We illustrated wants and needs in a mini booklet. Then we selected a device, appliance or machine (powered by electricity or a battery) which we did not use for 24 hours. Next day we talked about our experiences and what we did instead. Most students were successful in achieving the goal. They chose a variety of devices including TV, iPad, Nintendo Switch, robots and phones which they would not use for a day.
We talked about how plants make food for themselves using sunlight. We discovered that this process is called photosynthesis. We planted scarlet runner beans in small pots we had recycled from our lunch food packaging. We placed the pots in recycled food containers with clear plastic lids to create a mini-greenhouse which promoted quick germination. We put the pots on our classroom windowsill and waited for signs of growth. We watched and waited for six days until the first seedling appeared. That was an exciting event! We will take our pots home to look after them during spring break. When possible, we will plant the seedlings in our school garden.
How Big Are Your Carbon Feet?
We talked about how many ways we use energy everyday including how we can waste energy. The students were introduced to the idea of the carbon footprint and the fact that it varies for each person. In Canada we often use more energy than a person in the developing world. We talked about how we might go about calculating our carbon footprint. It was a challenging concept for Kinders! We listed ways in which we could reduce our carbon footprint and how we could encourage others to do likewise. We recycled some footprints we had already used for another project. We illustrated ways in which we could reduce our carbon footprint on the paper footprints. We plan to use these on a bulletin board display for Earth Day on April 22. Our photos show some of our illustrated footprints.
Limited Edition: Game Time!
We brainstormed for ways in which food is wasted: we buy too much, we take too much on our plates, we forget about food in the fridge, we forget to put milk in the fridge and it goes sour. Next, we talked about ways to avoid food waste: we buy just enough fresh food, we could use up left-overs, we could freeze extra food, we could make soup from a variety of small pieces of vegetables. Then we set up two teams by random draw in the classroom. Each team member was asked an individual question based on what we had been learning about the challenges to date. The answers were 'yes/no'. A point was assigned to correct answers. At the end of the quiz, questions were asked for students to answer as a team. We did have a clear winner! The Trivia Quiz questions are attached. It was impressive how much the Kinders had learned about environmental issues including how to avoid waste.
One Hour No Power
We have large east facing windows in our classroom. With the daily expansion of morning light since January, we can work to our usual schedule without using any power. We worked without artificial light. We use a document camera regularly and we avoided using it for four days. This was challenging for the teacher! We had to turn on the lights early on the morning of February 23 as it was overcast outside and it was difficult to see our activity sheets. Once that activity was completed, we turned off the lights again.
Images & Downloads
Round and Round it Goes
We talked about how items we own can end up in the landfill. But there is another way! We chose to highlight an item of clothing... a new shirt. We buy the shirt in a store. Then we wear the shirt. As we grow, the shirt becomes too small for us so we have to decide what to do with it. We decided it would be a good idea to donate the shirt to our local St. Vincent de Paul thrift store so that the shirt once again can be bought for another child. The money raised by selling the shirt supports a Drop-in-Centre run by the same organization. Now the circle is completed in a sustainable way. We attached photos of the pictures we drew to create a poster to illustrate the circular economy for our shirt.
We created a storybook describing the worms in our worm composting bin. Each student printed and illustrated a sentence about the world and work of the worms. We shared our story with the classroom next door so that they could learn about how worms help the environment. We attached some samples of our storybook pages including the colourful cover which was recycled from another book.
The Phantom of the Classroom
We explored the concept of phantom power by viewing a video. As our classroom is over seventy years old there are only two power outlets which the students easily located. There is a powerbar in each outlet. We checked the items that used each powerbar: a radio/cd player, the document camera, a charger for an i-pad and the internet connection box. We talked about why we turn off devices in order to avoid phantom power. Next, we went on a phantom power hunt around the school building. We discovered that the principal's office has seven devices plugged into a powerbar! We visited the staff room where we located many power outlets including one on the stove. We went to the computer room and saw the many power outlets there. When we returned to class, each student drew a classroom map on which they marked the power outlets with a circled ‘x’. We discussed how we could turn off unused devices which draw phantom power and we decided to share our learning at home. Our photos show some of the classroom maps we created.
Tips and Tricks
We talked about things we can do to help Mother Earth. We made a list of our ideas. We broadcast our tips and tricks to the entire school each morning for about two weeks. Two students made an announcement each morning. We have labels on our bins for dried markers, compost, paper, beverage containers, plastic wrap and plastic pots (yogurt, etc). Students from other classes come to our room to recycle juice boxes, fruit peels and dried markers. We also have a worm bin where we feed the worms with organic waste material. We have attached photos of our labelled bins and some of our tips which we shared with our school.