Sunday, July 26, 2015

Taking Action

My previous school is an International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme School.  (To read more, click HERE.)  One of my favorite components of PYP is the action piece.  Through each of the six inquiry-based units, students were challenged to take action based on what they learned.

Action based on what they learned.

That was a tricky concept for the kids, and a hard thing for me, too, because I didn't want to "give" them the action ideas.  That wouldn't have been organic learning.  Now, granted, these were 8-9-10 year olds, but just because they're young doesn't mean they can't do great things in the world.  It's just a bit challenging, at times, to get them to see that, and more specifically, see how to connect their learning to taking action.

Three boxes of Rice Chex = 15 LOCAL meals!
I so think that everyone is capable of making a difference, of taking action, small or large, no matter their age.  And while this doesn't necessarily connect to a specific learning, it certainly could.  General Mills has teamed up with Feeding America to Outnumber Hunger.  All of April and May 2015, boxes of GM cereal were printed with a special code on the box.  If you take that code and enter it on the Outnumber Hunger site, five meals are secured for a local food bank.  Five meals, just by entering the code on a box of cereal that you buy anyway.  Yet, that box, that small action, can provide five meals to your community's needy.

My FAV poster from FreeSpirit, based
on 26 BIG Things Small Hands Can Do
That's where I struggle keeping my mouth shut.  There are SO many little opportunities like this, from FreeRice, where each correct answer on the quiz donates grains of rice, to the "click to save" sites like The Rainforest Site, where literally, visiting and clicking each day, helps raise money and awareness to save the rainforest from destruction.  The balance between giving kids the action ideas, and showing them where they can find action ideas, not an easy one.  The connection part, while easy for me as a teacher to connect just about anything to our learning, not an easy one either.

But while challenging, it's worth it.

Taking action, no matter how big or small, is a fulfilling, empowering part of life, one that we can't instill in children early enough....

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