Monday, 15 June 2015

Walking for water: an immersive adventure in Grade 4


It's days like this that make my job so special!

To get Grade 4 students thinking about the people all around the world who have to walk long distances to collect water, we took students on an 'adventure' through the woods. Students role-played detectives in search of a little boy, lost and in need of help, in the forest. Along their journey they began to discover the lengths that the little boy, his mother and the other people in his town had to go to in order to get water. 

This video is a document of the story; the first part we discovered together and the second the students imagined how it might continue afterwards. Written and created by a group of Grade 4 students.

Kids at this age have the wonderful combination of a rich imagination and a developing knowledge and understanding of the world. Throughout this activity they were curious, excited, compassionate and were able to make many connections between the different areas of their learning. 

As a teacher my heart was warmed by the students compassion for the character I was playing. The photo below is an example of what happened time and time again when the activity came to its conclusion. When they found the 'little boy', crying and alone, each group reached out to his character and offered their support. With an arm around my shoulders or a comforting smile, they told the boy they would help him find medicine for his mother or explained they knew the way back to his village and could take him there. For the children, there were no boundaries stopping them from helping him, just as there were no boundaries preventing them from helping the village of Maimba (see below).

The Grade 4 teaching team did a fantastic job of finding unusual and interesting ways of approaching this unit (also a fundraising event for a well in Malawi), including poetry writing, crafts, sports, a talent show and much more.
“All’s Well That Ends With a Well” Celebration Day
Wednesday June 3rd 2015

On Wednesday June 3rd, the Grade 4 classes will be hosting the “All’s Well that ends with a Well Celebration” day in honor of our annual Water for Life service learning project. This day will focus on the importance of water access and sanitation; specifically highlighting the impact shallow wells have on providing access to clean water in developing countries. Our goal for this day will be to use our unique talents and crafts to fund-raise and help others in need to gain access to fresh clean water. 

Over the last 2 months the grade 4 team has learned all about the importance of access to clean water for the purpose of bathing, washing clothes, cooking and drinking. We have also learned that there is a set amount of water on the earth and not everyone is able to get access to usable water.  All humans need water to live, so having access to clean water is very important to everyone’s lives.  As a part of our “call to action” as international citizens, we have decided to help African Enterprise raise €1200 to build a shallow well in the village of Maimba, Malawi. We choose Malawi because each year over 3000 children die there because they do not have fresh clean water to drink. 

Days like this make me feel even more grateful for my situation here at ISB.
I'm grateful for being able to do things like this as a regular part of my job.
I'm grateful for having a management that supports me and gives me the flexibility in my role to make time for this.
I'm grateful for having access to a wealth of resources, including access to a beautiful forest.
I'm grateful for being able to work with such excited, enthusiastic and compassionate children, everyday.


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