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Go Johnny Go

Elementary

Description

This resource is comprised of four lessons that teach about the importance of trees and how they benefit people.  It also introduces students to philanthropy and explains how philanthropy and environmental stewardship are related.  

In completing the resource students will hear the story of Johnny Appleseed and learn how it relates to acts of philanthropy.  They will explore the life cycle of trees and learn to appreciate their importance by planting and caring for trees themselves.  Students will also make applesauce and share what they have learned about the impact of trees on the environment with others.

General Assessment

Strengths

  • This resource provides an excellent opportunity to teach the concept of philanthropy in a creative and interesting fashion.  
  • It provides most of the materials needed including the story and the song about Johnny Appleseed, the web resources and background information.  
  • Inviting others to participate in the project is a good idea.
  • The hands on activities, the researching and planting of trees as well as the maintenance of them are all positive learning experiences for the students.

Weaknesses

  • Greater emphasis on inquiry would be an improvement
  • More attention to cooperative learning skills would be an improvement
  • More student input/control over the learning would be an improvement

Relevant Curriculum Units

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  • Alberta
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    • Kindergarten
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      • Science
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        • The child demonstrates curiosity, interest and a willingness to learn about the environment and community
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        • Being Together: I Belong
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        • Needs of Animals and Plants
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        • Citizenship: Belonging and Connecting: My World: Home, School & Community
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Themes Addressed

  • Citizenship (1)

    • Community-Building and Participation
  • Ecosystems (2)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Interdependence
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Planting Native Species

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The resource uses the story of Johnny Appleseed to teach young children the concept of philanthropy and the importance of trees.  By exploring prior knowledge, asking questions. discussing and reflecting different points of view are addressed.

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 Good

The resource teaches young children the meaning of the concept of philanthropy.  The story of Johnny Appleseed is used as an example.  Then the resource helps students  acquire trees to plant and care for.

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 Good
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Very Good

The resource has students share what they have learned about philanthropy with other students in the school and at home with their families.  The planting and maintaining of trees provides a solid opportunity for an authentic action experience.

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 Good

The questions students are asked and the reflections they  write provide opportunities to clarify their own values.  Also the sharing with other children and parents reinforces their own beliefs.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

Poor

This is not addressed in the resource.

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

The resource suggests that the students go on a field trip and the planting of trees provides a quality out-of-door experience. 

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 students learn to become philanthropists in their own communities. They learn about the importance of trees.  They plant them where they can monitor their growth.

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 Good

Through examining the story of Johnny Appleseed an understanding of the past is presented in the resource.  The  planting the trees is what the students do in the present and maintaining them provides them with a positive vision for the future.

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 Good

The resource is structured in a way to access prior knowledge from the students.  There are discussions and opportunities for student reflection.  There are also hands on activities with opportunities for working in groups and sharing what they learn with each other.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

The resource has Language Arts integrated through the story of Johnny Appleseed, Science through learning about trees, Art activities, Social Studies (the learning about philanthropy) and some Mathematics applications in which students are graphing and measuring. The students also learn a song based on the story of Johnny Appleseed.

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 Good

The acquiring of prior knowledge and the questions provided by the teacher allow the students to build knowledge for themselves. The planting of trees and the making of applesauce provide the students with chances to discover on their own.

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 Satisfactory

In this resource some of the teaching is teacher directed and structured for the very young.  However, there are activities and assessment tools which address a range of learning styles.  There are no adaptations for children with learning 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 Good

The field trip and the actual planting and maintaining of the trees provides authentic experience for the students.

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

The students work in groups during the hands on activities however cooperative learning strategies and not explicitly taught and practiced.

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 Good

The students are provided with good questions and opportunities to reflect on their learning through the production of a book.

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

The students share what they have learned with their classmates, other students who are invited to the classroom and with their parents at home.

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

Poor

This is not included in 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

The students are provided with the concept by the teacher.  The content does include opportunities for students to delve more deeply into issues of their choosing.

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.