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Global Schools Teaching Program Grade 4

Elementary

Description

The goal of the Global Schools Program Teaching Grade 4 lesson plans is to allow students to explore the topic of identity and to connect their personal values to those of their community by contributing to the health of the environment.  This unit helps students develop a sense of their position in relation to the wider world, and understanding how elements in the world relate to each other in reference to one’s own values. The unit is designed to be a sequence of five lessons, though each lesson can be employed independently. Each lesson is also designed to preempt the concepts introduced in the next lesson.

Lesson 1 Developing Self Identities: The students will learn to describe their own values and then create personal storybooks by writing and drawing about their values.  The books will be shared with the class and then put on display.

Lesson 2 Learning About the Environment: The students will be introduced to the three R's and then turn a plastic bottle into something creative that can be reused.

Lesson 3 Nations and Resources: The students will discover where a number of common objects are produced.  Then, as a class, they will create a mind map of the pros and cons of importing products versus producing objects locally. After creating their own mind map in small groups, the students will debate the issue of importing versus local production.

Lesson 4 Sustainable Development Goals and Actionable Steps: After watching the video "If the World was 100 People...", the students will write one sentence from the video that caught their interest. The sentences will be translated into percentages.  The students will then create a board around one topic from the video to present to the class.

Lesson 5 Tying It All Together: The students will write and present a play that ties all of their learning together from the previous lessons.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The focus of this resource is on developing knowledge and awareness rather than concrete skills.

Strengths

  • The topic is interesting and will engage the students.
  • A number of external links to supplementary materials for both the students and teacher.
  • It is a well prepared resource that is easy to follow.

Weaknesses

  • No suggestions made for learners who may struggle with the material.
  • There is one broken link in Lesson #1.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource is a great resource for upper elementary students.  It would work well in a Social Studies classroom in order for the students to make connections from themselves to the larger world. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

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    • Grade 4
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      • Arts
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        • Organizing and representing quantitative information develops additive and multiplicative thinking to make meaningful connections and support problem solving
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
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        • Active citizenship contributes to the vitality of communities that can promote pluralism among diverse people in a democratic society.
        • Developing and affirming identity contributes to well-being and understandings of self and one another.
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        • Development of computational fluency and multiplicative thinking requires analysis of patterns and relations in multiplication and division
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        • Computational fluency and flexibility with numbers extend to operations with larger (multi-digit) numbers

Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Human Health & Environment (1)

    • Quality of Life
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Cultural Diversity
  • Waste Management (1)

    • Rethink, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Much of the resource is devoted to exploring the students ideas and values.  They are encouraged to do this via open ended discussions.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

The students work to re-imagine and creatively re-use a water bottle.

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

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

This is a core component of this resource and, in particular, Lesson 1.  The students learn about values and how to clarify their own beliefs.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

Lesson #4, in particular, allows for the students to see the world in a different way.  They watch the video "If the World were 100 People..." and then work with the percentages given in the video to investigate what interests them.

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 Good
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

The resource begins with a focus on the individual student and then gradually expands outward.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Very Good
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

It is through open ended discussions that the students explore much of the topics presented.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good
  • Visual Art
  • Drama
  • Math
  • Science
  • Social Studies
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Good

There are no strategies included for learners with difficulties.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Very Good

For each lesson there are assessment suggestions and some lessons provide a rubric.

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 Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered

This is not a focus of this resource.

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 Satisfactory

There is some choice given in the later lessons as to the topic that the students will choose to explore.

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.