Sunday, May 8, 2016

Earth Day Inventions!

Hi there!
I am so excited to share a really innovative project that my kiddos did for Earth Day! Here at our school, Earth Day is a really big deal. We teach the kids about ways to help our earth, and we even had a "Zero Trash Day." This year since it was our school's 25th birthday, students donated quarters to fundraise enough money to plant a new tree. On Earth Day, we planted the tree at the front of our school as a whole school. One of our fabulous special education teachers conducted an "Earth Day" that inspired students to try their best to help our earth!

In our classroom, we take the whole day to do some huge thinking. Students were asked to think deeply about different problems that we see around our earth. Students were asked to brainstorm potential problems in the following categories: land, water, air, animals, garbage, and recycling. From there, students were given the choice to find the "problem" that they were most passionate about. Students used their passion and creativity to design an "invention" that could help reduce or diminish this problem. Students were shown the materials, and all the materials were recyclable.

After the students did their brainstorming, they were asked to "plan" out their invention before starting their actual creations. Check out this focus! The students were so engaged, and they LOVED inventing something that they really thought could make our earth better.

After all of the brainstorming, planning, and creating, students were provided a time to share their inventions with our class. I honestly think the share was the kids' favorite part. They loved sharing their passions and inventions, and they also had to share one design change they would make if they continued this invention in the future.

Some of the topics that kids were passionate about include the following: destruction of animal habitats, using too much water, boat pollution, using too much energy, recycling, collecting rain water, etc. 

Overall, the kids loved this experience, and they certainly found meaning in this project. What I loved about this project was the fact that it incorporated creativity to plan and create the invention, critical thinking to think of a workable invention, student choice to discover their passions, and communication by requiring the students to share their inventions with our class. Next year, I would love to expand the communication piece and have students somehow communicate these inventions with an outside "world" audience. For students who finished before others, students were able to post their inventions on "Earthagram". The kids loved that little twist on Instagram. 

Have a great week!