Showcase

Project Profile

Project Title:
Little Hands, Big World
Initiative:
Imagineaction Social Action Projects
School Name:
Hamiota Elementary School
School board / First Nations school jurisdiction:
Park West School Division
Project Theme:
  • Connect [relationships]
  • Engage [active & participatory citizenship]
  • Lead [leadership]
Grade Level:
1
Subject Areas:
English, Mathematics, Science, Social Sciences and Humanities, Technological Education
City:
Hamiota
Province/Territory:
Manitoba
Community Partners:
We will select our community partnerships once students determine their topic(s) of interest. Our partnerships will be based on the area of focus, so that they are as effective as possible.

Little Hands, Big World

Through this interdisciplinary project, Hamiota Elementary’s youngest learners will act as leaders and change agents to address real-world issues which are meaningful to them. By joining their little hands, they can make a difference in the big world. To provide an authentic learning experience, this project is uniquely designed to be student-directed and student-planned, rather than teacher-directed. Students will be the primary decision makers, providing opportunities for learners to choose topics that are engaging and relevant to them personally. Learners and educators will work together to identify important local and global issues in areas such as agriculture, education or sustainability. In collaboration with peers, community members and experts, students will then develop and implement action plans to make a difference in the areas they identify as important, relevant and engaging.

Update (April-10-14)

Our little hands have been reaching out to make a difference in the world! Using ICT, this learning activity brought together 2 geographically separate classrooms to form 1 collaborative learning community. Working together provides opportunities for modeling, learning and practicing important collaboration and communication skills. Rich, interdisciplinary project-based learning is largely student-directed, with teachers providing lessons, guidance and support to help students succeed in their projects.

Here is a summary of 2 projects we have done so far, more details are available at http://kinectingclassrooms.wordpress.com

Farmer Appreciation Day: Students organized and hosted an event to give farmers a break, show our appreciation for their work and to recognize the importance of agriculture.

Project Launch:
This year, when we launched our project, we had guest speakers from former years join our Skype call to share examples of projects they had done. This allowed older students to share the projects which they were so proud of!

Collaborative brainstorming:
The next step we took was to brainstorm ideas for project based learning during this school year. Students worked together to come up with project ideas related to their interests.
Identifying a problem or Area to Make a Difference:
Students knew that rainy conditions were causing problems for local farmers trying to harvest and farmer stress was identified as an issue.

Developing an action plan:
Students decided to host Farmer Appreciation Day to show our gratitude and give farmers a break. They came up with a plan for their learning and decided on steps they’d need to take for their project to be successful. Their plan included writing and distributing invitations, planning and baking a snack, providing entertainment and designing posters and décor for the event.

Executing the plan:
Students worked hard and were thoroughly engaged in executing their plan. Our class worked together to write a special invitation. Teams of students designed and colored posters. They took turns helping bake cookies. We worked together to create an entertaining movie for the farmers to watch. Little learners came together to move tables and chairs to set up for the event. The students were VERY enthusiastic. They worked together effectively and learned a lot!

When the big day arrived, local farmers filled our classroom. Students welcomed them, served the snacks, shared their video and took time to let farmers know just how important they really are! Our guests seemed to really enjoy themselves and many of them stopped to thank the students for taking time to show their appreciation. It was very meaningful for the students to have an authentic audience – their work was reaching others and making a difference in our community.




Olympics Project: The winter Olympics inspired inquiry and a postcard writing campaign to show support for our athletes.

Project Launch:
We watched a video of Olympics highlights and students tried to guess the world event that the video was depicting. Due to the age of students, most had never heard of the Olympics. This led to many interesting inquiry questions being developed.

Identifying a Problem or Area to Make a Difference:
Once students began learning about the Olympics, they were really interested in Olympic athletes and the different Olympic sports. To make a difference, they decided to show support for Olympic athletes.

Developing an action plan:
After some discussion, our classes decided they could show support for athletes by sending postcards with pictures on the front and an encouraging message on the back.

Executing the plan:
Students designed artwork to create collages for the front of the postcards. They researched athletes and made connections with many athletes via social media. Our classes drafted thoughtful messages for the back of the postcards. Due to mail restrictions in Sochi, students Tweeted photos of the postcards to athletes before mailing them for the athletes to receive upon their return. A major highlight was receiving a Twitter reply from Olympic athlete Hayley Wickenheiser!


Update (June-26-14)

Our little hands have been reaching out to make a difference in the world! Using ICT, this learning activity brought together 2 geographically separate classrooms to form 1 collaborative learning community. Working together provides opportunities for modeling, learning and practicing important collaboration and communication skills. Rich, interdisciplinary project-based learning is largely student-directed, with teachers providing lessons, guidance and support to help students succeed in their projects.

Here is a summary of our work since our last update. More information is available at http://kinectingclassrooms.wordpress.com and mrsobachsclass.blogspot.com

One Hour, No Power: Energy Conservation and Energy Awareness
Another area that we addressed was energy conservation. Students learned about things that used energy and identified needs versus wants. They tracked their energy use for 3 days and identified needs vs. wants in terms of their energy consumption. Next, students each gave up an energy-consuming “want” for 4 days as an energy-saving effort. They also participated in a One Hour, No Power challenge that involved our classroom going without ANY power for a full hour. Students were able to scale up the impact of this challenge by inviting other classrooms to participate. Our class reached out to classrooms via Twitter and also asked the other classes in our schools to participate. With other classes contributing, were able to accumulate 12 hours without power in just one month!

Track Your Trash: Reducing Waste
We also worked on waste reduction in our classroom. We started by weighing our classroom garbage and we set a goal to reduce our garbage weight. In order to meet this goal, students learned about ways to reduce waste. Some student-generated ideas to reduce trash included: using reusable containers, recycling more items, avoiding waste food by eating all of our lunch and using cloths instead of paper towels when possible. Students implemented their ideas and were able to see a substantial decrease in the amount of trash generated. A challenge we faced was dealing with the large amount of garbage generated by hot lunch days. Most days, our class was able to have less than 500 grams of trash in our garbage can!

Earth Day Celebration: Our Environment
To learn more about nature and the earth, we hosted an Earth Day celebration. Guest speakers from Oak Hammock Marsh taught us a lot of interesting things about water, habitats and beavers! We also took time to think about things we can do to “love the earth” and help take care of it.