Thanks to the inspiring videos from Andrea Leslie’s Grade 2/3 class at Windsor Elementary, Canadian Environment Week was not forgotten this year in Nova Scotia!
After attending a Professional Development Day on Project-Based Learning, Andrea was motivated to give it a try. The two main guiding principles for Project-Based Learning are that students pick the topic and the topic applies to their community. The learning starts with questions so Andrea asked the students:
‘What is special about your community, what kind of things do you like to do?’
‘What is important to you and your community?’
‘What do you hope for the future of your community?’
“When you’re a grown-up, what things will still be important?’
Some of the responses included: geocaching, going to the pool, visiting farmers markets, and keeping the community clean. Two of the students shared their recent experience from a community-wide litter cleanup. This led the conversation toward helping the environment. Engagement Officer Natalie had recently visited and facilitated a discussion about ecological footprints, our impact on the Earth, and how we can waste less and become more energy efficient. The students reviewed some of the ideas Natalie had shared and created ideas on how to reduce their water footprint that they learned from her during a past virtual visit. These young folks were keen to take action to help the environment.
A student also shared that helping sick kids is important to them. Andrea was left scratching her head and wondering how they could tie this all together?! But after consulting with her PD group, she learned Windsor Recycling Depot will accept donations for particular causes when people drop off their refundable bottles. Suddenly Andrea found the link to help sick kids, protect the environment, and keep the community clean.
Once the class had decided on their topic they had to get to work on their projects. First, they decided they would make videos using a green screen. To understand how to make videos they used a resource available through the Mystery Science website. Mystery Science has a series of videos called Mystery Doug; each week Doug makes a five-minute video on a science-related question. A recent ‘Mystery Doug’ was ‘How do you make Mystery Doug?’ and he discussed all the steps for making a great video. This gave Andrea’s students a better idea of all the different roles, such as researcher, scriptwriter, actor, and videographer, and how all areas come together.
The class then divided into groups of two and three students. They brainstormed, wrote scripts, and practiced their lines, all independently. After filming, Andrea helped with the editing and they shared ideas and picked out their video backgrounds. The whole process took just over a month and the students loved it!
Andrea was able to link in many outcomes such as speaking and listening, reading, writing, technology integration, science, and the biggest links were with social studies and the local community.
“I am so proud of their videos and what they were able to accomplish.” Andrea Leslie
The videos were posted on Andrea's twitter account, @MsALeslie, during World Environment Week, June 3-9th:
Canadian Environment Week - Shrink Your Ecological Footprint
UN World Environment Day - Do Not Litter
Clean Air Day - Energy Efficiency & Clean the Air
Ideas to Get Outside
World Water Day - Reduce your Water Footprint
World Oceans Day - Keep Plastics Out of the Ocean
Engagement Officer, Southern NS