#ToteChallenge: Students investigate the problems caused by plastic shopping bags, then propose solutions they can take to address the problems. They brainstorm uses for plastic bags and design a reusable shopping tote out of an old T-shirt using engineering, problem-solving, creativity, and communication. They take action for the common good by using and sharing their homemade totes and by educating the community about problems and solutions to the plastic bag crisis.
In this lesson, students learn that we all have ideas and talents to make the world a better place. This is an opportunity to demonstrate and feel the impact of kindness, inclusion, and listening on a caring community. Students learn from a community helper about the needs they observe in the community. They make and donate a "calming kit" so the tool may help youth calm themselves. Use this at the beginning of the year to set a tone and learn skills of effective language that are good for all.
Students explore the roles of bees in a hive and as pollinators. They learn about reasons their population numbers have been declining in recent years. The design a project to help beautify their school and help the larger environment by attracting bees. They may write a letter or create a handout to teach others how to help bees through planting native species.
America is a culturally pluralistic nation. In other words, America is comprised of smaller groups within the larger society.
In an effort to strengthen the notion that individual voluntary action can have a significant impact, students will create books where one key historical figure's actions turn from philanthropic to selfish. They will imagine what the world would be like in the absence of great deeds of generosity and character. The students illustrate with their imagination and words the impact of character and philanthropy to make a difference.
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