School is out but learning is not
Character education is more exciting to teach and learn, in a summer program that engage students in indoor and outdoor activities. It is also beneficial when these planned experiences are interdisciplinary and run for a month so that participants can remain engaged. The climax of the program should be a day of celebrating accomplishment.
Below is an example of a program that will inculcate values like responsibility, respect, fairness, care, and civil virtues, and at the same time integrate technology and celebrate diversity.
In this program, students will be involved with all aspects of conservation of environment- air, water and soil (land).
Introduction: Build a website that will introduce the program to the students and the public, and house all the activities and events that the students will be involved in. The site will also host a blog where student can journal their experiences and events.
Set objectives: Formulate clear, precise and measurable objectives. Students should be given opportunity to react on the set objectives.
Age-group: Selection of the age group determines the kind of activities and materials used. For this program, the selected age group is 9-14 years.
- Computer and LCD projector to be used for presentation, videos and podcasts.
- Access to internet and at least 10 laptops.
- Writing materials (markers, crayons and pencils)
- A variety of papers (copy, and construction papers)
Video stream: Watch video clips on our environment, as an introduction to the program and an activator. Videos featured in the program are available online (examples provided under references).
Research and brainstorm: Participants outline various activities (with the guidance of the instructor) that involved conserving the environment. They will use the internet for research and organize their thoughts using graphic organizers.
Discovery corner: Students will read books and articles in print or digital.
Journalism corner (they use the publisher program): Students educate the public by writing to the editor of a local magazines and newspaper and / or create and distribute flyers.
Podcast or Vodcast: Students video tape themselves as they perform different task and explain the reasons behind their action. The podcast is embedded in the program website and is downloadable.
Curriculum days: Students will experience a connection between specific activities to math, science, social studies, reading, and language art. Teachers and other volunteers (like counties environmentalist) are invited to conduct the activities.
Celebration: As a culmination of the wonderful month of hard work students, parents and community members visit a lake or a park. The first activity should be to clean up the area, play games and eat. A guest speaker is invited to commend the young environmentalist for the job well done.
It is important to always evaluate the program and draw conclusion and recommendation for improvement. Evaluation can be drawn from program instructors, students, parents and community members. The activity can be accomplished via internet, interview, and paper and pencil.
Examples of program outcome
As students work in groups, they will learn to treat each other with respect, and be responsible of accomplishing their tasks. In addition, students share all the resources fairly among the group members and learn to solve their dispute when they arise without biasness. The whole program will teach students how to care and conserve their environment, and teach others to do the same so that the effort can replicate through other members of the society. Students will use technology as one of their tools for learning, be encouraged to be creative, embrace diversity, and create an awareness of how community members can conserve environment.
“School may be out but learning should not.”
Global Development (2012) Rio Earth Summit: Young People and the Future They Want. http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2012/may/25/rio-20-earth-summit-sustainable-development
The Girl Who Silenced the World for 5 Minutes. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQmz6Rbpnu0&list=PLB17CE4366FC5C2AA
Discovery Education The Green Earth Club: How We Fit In www.unitedstreaming.com