Celebrations of learning are an exciting time at Detroit Achievement Academy. Each grade level showcases their student's learning during a 1-2 hour event for family and community members. This is the culminating event for students and they could not be more excited.
Students have become experts in their expedition topic. First grade has been studying garbage and recycling. We began by going on an observation walk around our community and recording observations through their writing and drawing. On our walk, students noticed a ton of garbage and litter on the street. They were shocked to see litter every couple of steps such as a potato chip bag, a soda bottle, or napkin just laying on the ground. When we got back to our classroom, we debriefed on what we saw. Students were upset at the amount of trash they witnessed right outside of our school. We began to talk about the ramifications this trash could have on our community. Students were concerned for the well being of people, animals, ,and our environment.
After our discussions, students wrote a postcard to someone in their family or community trying to persuade them to recycle and clean up all the garbage. Students drew in their reader by using a hook; one student wrote, "We have a BIG problem in our community..." They were trying to make sure their opening sentence was powerful enough to convince the reader to continue reading. "We need to clean up the trash or the animals will get sick and die", wrote another. Students wrote why this task was important to them and why their family/community member should care. They finished their postcard by offering suggestions for how the reader could help. In art, students worked on creating a drawing to show what our community would look like with no litter and trash to accompany their writing, as a way to inspire their reader.
When we took a look at a lot of the materials and items that were being littered, we realized so many of these materials could be recycled. We began to learn about the various items we could recycle. Students took a trip to Recycle Here! and learned about the different items that could be reused and recycled from Mary Claire, the recycling expert! Students sat in a freight container that was repurposed and transformed into an outdoor classroom! Our fieldwork really inspired students to want to teach others about the importance of recycling and reducing our waste.
Students will be able to share all of the information they have learned and become experts during our celebration of learning. Students are working in "expert recycling groups" to create a display board full of important information someone might want to know. They will be sharing common items you might find for recycling, informing the audience of how their specific material gets recycled and writing about the negative impacts that are happening to our world when people do not recycle.
Students will be preparing for weeks to make sure their celebration of learning is a hit. They will be rehearsing, practicing, and getting feedback from their peers.They will be able to show off their speaking and listening skills in front of their family and community members! Family and community members will leave the celebration of learning with a pamphlet to help them remember what they have learned! We can’t wait!