The learner will:
- plan a project that advocates for an environmental issue.
- carry out a plan and reflect on the process and impact.
- art materials
Read about the service-learning project by Indiana students in the class of Ms. Hawley who said, "students need to know they are not the only people and living organisms in the world. Introducing students to service and making connections to their community can make lifelong experiences that help them find what they are passionate about and inspire them to make a difference."
Talk about the needs identified in the research of local plants and animals. Follow the passion of the young people to identify something they can do to take action about what they learned. One thing they can do is be an advocate that tells others what they learned.
Define advocacy as using your voice to let others know what needs to be done, supporting a cause or action. Advocacy may be done through art, gardening, writing in social media, and many other ways that fit the purpose. Talk about examples of young people being advocates and how powerful that is. For example, Greta Thunberg took her advocacy for the environment all the way to a global meeting of the United Nations.
Here are some sample actions that include advocacy:
- Work with community agencies to identify and tell others about a need in a local garden or trail.
- Build bat houses and share facts about the benefits of bats.
- Teach trail hikers about invasive species and lead a weeding day.
- Plant native species in a home garden and share your progress in a community space.
- Use art to teach about the beauty or impact of a misunderstood plant or animal.
Facilitate the whole group or small groups to plan and carry out their projects. Hold them accountable while giving them responsibility for interviewing community members, acquiring funding and transportation, and getting permission, as needed.
Young people take pictures and keep journals of their projects during the process.
They reflect frequently on their work and interactions and the responses of others in the community.
When the projects are complete, each individual writes a summary, accompanied by photos, of their project, purpose, impact, and response of the community. Share these stories with a local audience.
Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
Standard VS 03. Providing Service
Benchmark HS.4 Demonstrate the skills needed for the successful performance of the volunteer job.
Benchmark HS.5 Articulate and demonstrate the safety procedures that are part of the volunteer experience.
Benchmark HS.6 Describe the procedures and the importance of sensitivity to the people with whom students are working.