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Sustainability & Systems-Seven Generations

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Keywords: sustainability, technology
Subject(s): Technology, Life Science, Reading, Social Studies, English/Language Arts, Science
Grades 5 through 6
School: Folsom Educational & Cmty Ctr, South Hero, VT
Planned By: T. Bashaw
Original Author: T. Bashaw, South Hero
Systems And Sustainabilityı > ıStudent Objectivesı > ıProject Rubricı > ı
Learning Plan
Lesson 1: Establishing a Learning Community

Question of the Day: "How can we use Google.com to create, store, and share our work this year?"

Goal: Students will understand that Google.com is an on-line platform of applications and storage to enable a wide community to collaborate on work. Students will learn the skills that will enable them to create, share and manage documents.

1. Using Q&A, discuss "what is a learning community?" Provide examples in a variety of contexts, including school, work places, within families. Using teaching team as an example, show how collaboration has resulted in a richer product and experience.
2. Introduce Google accounts, application toolbars, and documents in general.
3. Guide students to the Tech Check on the Systems and Sustainability web site and ask them to fill out the form. Share form results as an example of the use of spreadsheets (for future reference and work in other units).
4. Model creating a document and sharing it with others in the class.

Exit task: Students use their Netbooks to create a document and share it with teachers. Focus of the document:
What are your strengths as a learner?
What would you like to improve upon this year?
What would you like to study this year (what interests you)?

Lesson 2: Introduction of the Project Theme

Questions of the day: "What is sustainability?"

Goals: Students will create a personal definition of "sustainability" and understand they are empowered to create change. Students will further their skills using a Google drawing template and Google presentations.

1. Present Home page from the web site and watch the "We Generation" video.
2. Ask students to open a Google document titled "We Video [name]" and jot down their responses to the video: One thing they learned, one question they have, and one new vocabulary word. As student finish, have them partner or discuss in table groups. Discuss using Q&A as a whole class.
3. Guide students to create a Wordle on the theme of sustainability.
4. Guide students to create a Wonder Wheel of new vocabulary.
5. Lead the activity "Oh Deer!" from Project Wild (30-45minutes). This acitivty is designed to give students some basic vocabulary to talk about natural systems and to learn what "balance" looks like in natural systems.

Exit Question: Use the four questions at the end of the "Oh Deer" activity. Students respond in a Google document and share with teachers.

Lesson 3: Systems and Sustainability Project

Questions of the day: "What is a system? How might you improve the sustainability of a system?"

Goals: Students will understand the concept of a system (input/output/processes, energy usage, feedback or control), understand that systems can be natural or man-made, and identify ways to effect change on the sustainability of a system. Students will use Google presentation to collaboratively take notes for their project.

1. Assign students to groups of 3 or 4, ensuring that each group has members from the returning 6th grade class and the new 5th grade class.
2. Introduce the goals, scope, and assessment for the project. Share model project. Share..."We all now know that each of us, as a human body system, needs certain things to “sustain” ourselves (such as water, food, shelter, etc.). In this project, you will work on a team to investigate what “sustainability” means for a variety of types of systems. You will also investigate why we might pose this question for you and for us all. To do this, you will…
a. Choose two systems from the following list and investigate how each system sustains itself (the needs (inputs), products (outputs), processes, the energy used, and the feedback or control):
the human body
a cell
an apple tree
Lake Champlain
a forest (or a wooded area near your house)
a farm
A form of government
our school system
an Ancient Civilization
a transportation system (such as CCTA in Burlington)
an industry (such as paper, mining, automobile...)
a nuclear power plant (such as Vermont Yankee)
To show the inputs, outputs, and processes of each system, as a group create a flow chart using the drawing template titled "System Flowchart 062310kla"
b. compare and contrast your two systems
c. identify threats to the sustainability of the system
d. answer the essential questions and create an activity to engage others in your new learning

e. create a list of new questions you’d like to investigate throughout the year

f. cite all your sources appropriately (print, video, audio, on-line, etc.)

3. Model using a Google presentaion to take notes. Each group should create one presentation document, shared among the group's members. Encourage each group to brainstorm ways they can work together (e.g divvy up the tasks and assign a task to each member).

Exit Question: After a day or two of student work, partner up the groups and ask students to use the speaker feature in Google presentation to comment on each others' work. Remind students that the quality of their feedback to their peers is one way they will be evaluated. Assess the progress of both work and feedback each night.

Lesson 4: Collaboration and Presentation

Questions of the day: "How might we work together to improve the sustainability of a system we are concerned about?"

Goals: Students will use a Prezi presentation tool to collaboratively create and present thier learning.

1. Model the use of the Prezi presentation tool. Students create their presentations.
2. Students present their work to their peers. Discuss the importance of constructive feedback, using examples of positive and negative feedback. As each group presents, students provide verbal feedback.
3. In whole class discussion, elicit the main concerns of the class interms of sustainability issues. Make a chart of the systems of concern, the factors affecting sustainability, and ideas for projects for improvement.
Exit Question: Students create another Wordle on the topic of sustainability and reflect on the before and after Wordles.

We our hoping to teach students how to better understand their place in the world & maybe set up some Geo caching for the community
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
This crosses over into art and history as well as covering geography and science. With additional add ons there is the opportunity for some writing projects as well.
See above
Links: Link to Project Wild activities
Materials: Flip Video, Wildlife
Other Items: 4 GPS Units, $150 each, total of $600.00