Grassroots Campaign Reflection- Don’t Throw That on the Ground!
By: VLA Teacher, Ashley Low
The students then had the opportunity to share their community problems with the class. During this time, students began recognizing when the same issues were being presented. This is when I began writing down their ideas for our grassroots campaign. We had a class discussion of explanations for each topic. From there, we voted on our final two topics of littering and homelessness.
Deciding on which topic to do for our grassroots campaign wasn’t easy until my assistant, Ms. Patrick, acted littering and role-played homelessness out for the students. The students immediately reacted to Ms. Patrick throwing garbage on the floor.
Students began gasping in disbelief and couldn’t believe what she was doing. I even heard one student say, “There’s litter!” when we were in the multi-purpose room. Those reactions showed me which topic my students were most passionate about for their grassroots campaign: littering.
It was obvious that my students understood the action of littering, but they needed to learn more about the causes and effects of littering. Therefore, I found books on littering at the library. I read both a non-fiction and fiction story to the class.
Students were extremely engaged and seemed to gain a better perspective on littering. They understood how neighborhoods look more rundown from littering along with attracting rodents.
Students also learned that people litter because they don’t care, are lazy, or there are not enough garbage cans in their community.
The next day, I led the class on a walking field trip around the school building to see if we could find litter.
The students spotted litter everywhere! Even I was amazed at the amount of litter we found along our school neighborhood building. When we returned to the classroom, students started discussing how they felt after seeing all the litter.
Students had many emotions such as sadness, anger, unhappiness, and being surprised. Another response was “If you have garbage, you need to wait until there is a trash can to put it in and not throw it on the ground!” Since we were able to find litter around school, I had the students take pictures of litter in their communities for homework.
With this assignment, we found litter to be more abundant in some areas compared to others.
Our next step will be for students to explore why certain communities may have more litter than others.
We are going to determine whether there are sufficient amounts of garbage cans in communities and work with ally groups to help prevent and/or help to clean up litter. Students will also be able to learn how to execute preventive steps on littering at home, school, and their community.
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