By Ivana González, Assistant Group Supervisor
Because A Better World means so many different things, I decided to focus on concepts I found most important including the planet and its life forms. To help my students understand material that could easily become overwhelming I began with the world itself and understanding how a healthy planet makes A Better World. Together we learned about the layers of earth, its atmosphere, and the practices that help keep them intact through discussions, crafts, web lectures, and a little game I like to call Earth Jeopardy. After this, we narrowed our view a bit to focus on understanding plants and animals. I used the taxonomic classes of life to guide us through a crash course from bacteria to plants, invertebrates to vertebrates. To make things fun we tried our luck at Plant Bingo and tested our creativity with scored animal costumes. In order to make the jump from animals to humans we ended our third PBL with a look at non-human primates; the many similarities we humans share with them and one of the few things that truly makes us different, culture.
Having narrowed our lens a bit more, we are currently focusing on how understanding other cultures can lead to A Better World. I plan on having a modal UN-esque presentation where each student is in the national dress of their chosen country flanked by the food and art of that culture. The crisis the Centro UN must solve is making reading fun across the globe. This PBL is going to be a lot of work but we are already off to a good start. To finish off the year I want to take a look at how understanding one's self can lead to A Better World. I want the kids to practice meditation, yoga, healthy eating, and love.
Hopefully when all is said and done my kids will be able to better understand, take responsibility, and care for the earth and its living things. I hope my kids can move forward with their hearts and minds open to all the world has to offer.