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Everyday Objects is an inquiry-based learning resource in which an investigation of commonly used materials is used to begin a discussion and understanding of sustainable development. As students explore the design, composition and manufacture of items they might use every day, a number of sustainable development themes from resource consumption to waste production to consumer responsibility to the welfare of workers are brought to the surface.
Within this resource there are two learning units. One includes a series of lessons in which primary students investigate “cups” while in the other unit, secondary students examine “sneakers “.
CUPS FOR PRIMARY STUDENTS:
Lessons 1-3 are geared toward students under the age of seven while lessons 4-6 are geared toward students in the range of seven to eleven years of age.
Lesson 1: The students will observe the similarities and differences of a group of cups. The next activity involves the students investigating by way of an experiment of their own design a chosen question from the observation activity.
Lesson 2: In this learning activity the students will tell the life story of a chosen cup with a poster.
Lesson 3: This lesson involves a role play for the students where they take on the responsibility for choosing a cup for a cafe.
Lesson 4: In this lesson the students work with sorting trees in order to sort the cups.
Lesson 5: The students will work to depict the life story of a ceramic cup and a paper cup. Then the two life stories will be compared. The lesson ends with a role play of choosing a cup for a cafe.
Lesson 6: The class will calculate the relative cost of disposable cups and reusable cups.
SNEAKERS FOR SECONDARY STUDENTS (ages 11-14):
Lesson 1: In this lesson the students will investigate the waterproofing or breathability of materials provided by the teacher in a test of their own design.
Lesson 2:The students investigate the manufacturing of a sneaker while looking at the wages of workers, materials needed and the cost.
Lesson 3: The students design a test in order to investigate the transformation of materials. They will apply their knowledge to sneakers in order to calculate the amount of non-biodegradable materials produced by the whole class in the last 5 years.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
Throughout the resource the need to present all aspects of the issue is reinforced for the teacher. Suggestions are made as to how best present the materials so to allow the students to form their own opinions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
The activities in the lessons address very well all three dimensions of the issue.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
The final activity in the Sneaker lessons asks the students to list the criteria they might use now to buy sneakers. This activity will illustrate any growth in their learning and habits.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Very Good|
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
The activities included in this resource do not focus on this criteria.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
The activities included do not focus on this criteria.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The choice of the two objects, cups for the younger students and sneakers for the older students, makes the learning relevant and applicable to their lives.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
The discussion of the life stories of the objects puts a clear vision of the past, present and future into the activities within the resource.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
Throughout the resource it is pointed out to the teacher that multiple answers may arise within the activities and how to approach the discussion to allow the students to form their own answer.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning||Very Good|
The activities expressly allow students to ask questions and to design their own experiments in order to find the answers. Direction is also given to the teacher on how to best support the learners in these endeavors.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The role play activities provide students with an opportunity to experience all aspects of the question in order to gain an appreciation of the fact that there is not always one right answer.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
There is a rubric of indicators provided in the resource to assess key elements of the inquiry-based science education and education for sustainable development. It is also suggested that teachers take note of changes in students values, attitudes and behaviors by comparing the criteria for buying sneakers from the beginning of the activities to the end. Otherwise, the area of assessment is left to the teacher to base upon their own evaluation curriculum.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The lessons offer the opportunity for students to role play a cafe setting where a decision is to be made about the type of cup to be used.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Very Good|
Students are often given the opportunity to explore and develop their own questions to investigate.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|