Two Classes Across the Country Partner in Learning and Global Citizenship
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May 14, 2021
Students turn a disaster into an learning opportunity and humanitarian awareness campaign
Kindergarten students host Mock Global 6K for Water
Kinder & high school students in 2 different states collaborate
Kinder students create a website (idea from high school students)
Parents facilitate break out rooms to guide students to build website content
Mrs. Browder’s kindergarten class is doing its part to be global citizens.
Texas Winter Storm Learning Opportunity
When Texas faced the historic winter storm in February, many of Browder’s students lost electricity, gas, and water. Some students were attending class bundled in warm clothing while repairs were under way in their homes from the winter storm’s damage. Students reported frozen bananas, pipes bursting, and traveling to multiple homes to stay warm. Browder used these experiences as an opportunity to connect the real-world to learning.
Water Crisis in Other Countries
She explained to her students that while our crisis was temporary (acknowledging the lasting effects for some families), in other countries being without safe drinking water is the norm.
The class had several exploratory conversations learning about the water crisis in other countries. Browder, students, and several parents were researching ways to help behind the scenes. Most of the ways to help involve donations or raising funds. The class wanted to focus on raising awareness - not funds.
Mock Global 6K
Browder came across World Vision, an organization that is hosting a Global 6k for Water on May 22. She emailed the event coordinator who invited Browder to consider hosting a mock Global 6K.
Browder went back to the class and shared what she learned. Browder taught students using World Vision videos featuring two children, Cheru and Kamama. These students travel 6K multiple times a day to get unsanitary water, miss school, and are often ill or worse. The class decided that the Global 6K is a great way to raise awareness of the water crisis. (May 23 due to rain forecast)
Building Stamina for the 6K
Together, the class created a timeline to build stamina in walking. Monday, students agreed to walk 20 minutes.Tuesday, they recommended adding ten minutes and adding ten minutes to the walk time every day thereafter.
Student creates water song
On one of the stamina-building walks, a mom shared that an older sister began chanting, “Save H20, support us, Go!” All three siblings joined in, and the sister who created the chant told the kindergartner, “You should sing this as a song!” She put the chant to the tune of the class’ daily good morning song.
Students Creativity in Promoting Awareness
Students brainstormed a variety of ideas including making water conservation posters to have while walking and for the lawn to raise awareness, decorating t-shirts, masks, water bottles, and bracelets. For conservation, they discussed harvesting rainwater and reducing the use of water in our own communities.
Mrs. Browder’s students also asked if they could share awareness on the school’s morning announcements and invite the school to have families walk - on their own, as families - not as groups, in support of water awareness and the Mock Global 6K.
Today, Browder’s class created a Flipgrid to be shared with family and community to cheer them on. They hope their school classmates and the students in California will join them in the walk and on Flipgrid join code:87e73c9d, password: Kinderwater.
Students have created hashtags #WaterLittleHelpers, #MockGlobal6K, #SpencerBroncosRock, #CoraSpencerAllStarWalkers, in support of water crisis and conservation awareness.
Students in High School Students in California & Kindergarten Students in Texas Collaborate
In a Zoom session earlier this school year hosted by, “Define Your Why,” author Barbara Bray, a few educators discussed inquiry based learning being their passion. Two of these teachers, Stephanie Rothstein, and Traci Browder, continued the conversation offline, inviting Barbara to join the journey.
**It was Bray who suggested focusing on SDG 6 in response to Browder sharing the desire for her class to learn about the water crisis.**
Connecting with Flipgrid
Browder and Rothstein’s classes introduced themselves using Flipgrid. Choose “Guest,” enter Password: Connect!. High school students in California proceeded to conduct their own research and humanitarianism efforts while kindergartners did the same in Texas.
Classes Meet and an Invitation
Meanwhile, Mrs. Rothstein’s advanced honors high school class has been doing their own research projects on unrelated topics. Earlier this week, Mrs. Rothsein’s class & Mrs. Browder’s class met on Zoom to share their humanitarian projects. Mrs. Browder’s class also invited Mrs. Rothstein’s class to join them on May 23rd for the Global 6K (moved due to rain prediction).
It is Browder, Rothstein, Todd (Rothstein’s student teacher) and Bray’s hope that this experience is only the beginning of students being global citizens.
More Than Inquiry Based Learning
Rothstein and Browder are providing their students a memorable experience with a vastly different grade level. Students are:
Learning the importance of listening and communication skills.
Understanding the value of innovation in technology.
Understanding world issues.
Passionately and strategically thinking about being mindful consumers of resources and how to be difference-makers in society.
Kindergarten Students Take a Great Idea from High School Students
Mrs. Rothsten’s students have created their own websites for their humanitarian projects including women’s rights, Asian hate awareness, and more. Mrs. Browder decided to present the idea of creating a website based on their water crisis activism. The students loved the idea, so Mrs. Browder began walking students through web-design. Parents teamed up and supervised break-out rooms guiding students through creating the content for the tabs of the website!