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Wishing for Wells

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Keywords: Global Citizenship, Service Learning
Subject(s): Information Skills, Civics, Social Studies, Video, Geography, Service Learning, Podcasting, Science, Journalism, Writing, Reading, Math
Grade 2
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
View Full Text of Standards
School: Claxton Elementary School, Asheville, NC
Planned By: Michaela Rogers
Original Author: Michaela Rogers, Asheville
I work in five different Title I schools as a K-2 Nurturing Specialist. My goal is to identify and nurture potential giftedness in young learners with an eye toward increasing representation of diverse learners. I work with students of all ability levels, and I have developed a service learning project that I believe will be accessible and meaningful for the 20 classes of second graders whom I support.

2.G.1: Use geographic representations, terms and technology to process information from a spatial perspective.
2.G.2: Understand the effects of humans interacting with their environment.
2.C&G.2: Understand the roles and responsibilities of citizens.
2.E.1: Understand patterns of weather and factors that affect weather.
2.NBT.5: Fluently add and subtract within 100 using strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction
2.NBT.6: Add up to four two-digit numbers using strategies based on place value and properties of operations.
2.MD.C.8:​ Solve word problems involving dollar bills or quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies; using symbols appropriately.
W.2.5: With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.
W.2.6: With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.

LESSON 1: Introducing the Water Crisis
The teacher will read aloud The Water Princess, a book based on the childhood of Georgie Badiel. "Gie Gie" must walk miles each way to retrieve clean water for her family, and she dreams of a day when she can bring clean water to her village. Students will then work in groups to answer some of the following questions:
*How does this book relate to what you are learning about in science?
*Compare your life to Gie Gie’s life. How are you alike? How are you different?
*Would you recommend this book to other teachers? Why or why not?
*Use an atlas to locate the story’s setting. Explain why it is so hard to find clean water there.
*How might good citizens help people like Gie Gie who are struggling in Africa?
*What questions do you have after listening to the book? Where might you find the answers to them?
*How would you describe the mood of the book? What details from the book contribute to the mood?

*Students will use an Atlas app to research Gie Gie's home country of Burkina Faso. They will also access weather data to graph the monthly rainfall there. This will help students identify the wet and dry seasons in Burkina Faso.
*Students can access Gap Minder's Dollar Street Project to view pictures of families, possessions, basic supplies, etc. in homes all over the world, sorted by monthly income. This is a great way to make data accessible to young learners.

LESSON 2: Learning about Wells
The teacher will show video clips from Water for South Sudan to illustrate the profound impact of constructing wells in African villages. Then, he/she will facilitate a Hilda Taba interpretation of data lesson to help students understand cause and effect and to make generalizations about global inequities. Taba teaching strategies are beneficial for all learners because they assume that thinking skills can be explicitly taught and improved through practice.

*Students can participate in a Paideia seminar using a variety of articles pre-loaded onto the iPads. This ensures that students will have a mini-library of articles appropriate for a wide range of reading levels.
*Students will collaborate on math extension activities that can be accessed via the iPads.
*Students can use Padlet to create their own interpretation of data organizer. They can collaborate with other students by sharing the URL to their Padlet.

LESSON 3: Introducing the Water Challenge
The teacher will read The Mangrove Tree. Students will compare and contrast the lives of the people in both stories. Use a variety of maps (geographic, population density, rainfall, etc.) to help students make generalizations about the challenges facing many communities in Africa. Then, the teacher will introduce The Water Challenge. Students will learn to distinguish between wants and needs, and they will discuss how giving up some of our wants can help to meet others’ needs.

*The Water Challenge asks students to replace all drinks with water for two weeks, then donate the money they saved to well construction in Africa. Students can use the iPads to do some online "shopping" and determine how soda, juice, Gatorade, etc. they would need to go without to raise $23 (the goal of the challenge for each participant).
*Students will work in groups to write scripts for, record, and edit PSAs that will inform the rest of the school about the Water Challenge. These can be broadcast along with the morning announcements within the classroom.
*Students in need of a challenge can explore stop motion animation or online coding apps to create their PSA.

My ultimate goal is to raise enough money to fund a well for a village in Africa. I think this will be such an empowering and motivating experience for my students. Because I work with 20 classrooms, I think this goal is realistic.

iPads allow these students to access specialized resources to study global issues. I also think that the culminating project--recording and broadcasting a PSA--will be a great application of technology.

I am hoping that this project is only a starting point and that young learners will continue to be global citizens with the help of classroom technology!
Materials: Mobile Labs
Other Items: 10 iPad Mini 2, $288.00 each, total of $2880.00
1 10-port charger, $59.99 each, total of $59.99
10 iPad Mini case, $9.99 each, total of $99.90