Resource: The Tree maze_ what do I do with my rubbish? resource is an example of what Year 4 students could make in collaboration with Year 2 students, based on a sustainability initiative/school project.
At my prac school the Year 2 students are collecting recyclable waste from all the primary classrooms in the school. The primary Art committee and secondary Sustainability committee are also working in collaboration to reduce waste in the school.
Curriculum: To further develop this sustainability initiative, I thought that the upper primary students could work together with the lower primary students to enrich learning tasks and fulfil different curriculum areas. Firstly, the Year 4 students could create a decision-making tree to see how much water they have used a day on average, based on statistics from the Riverina Water website (https://www.rwcc.nsw.gov.au/save-water/average-water-use). The Year 4 students could then work in collaboration with the Year 2 students by creating a decision-making tree to inform the school on how to dispose of rubbish correctly (ACTDIP011, ACSHE035). This support the new waste system that will have different bins across the school grounds for paper, plastics, organic wastes, and general waste. Students could then go on to brainstorm other sustainable issues on school grounds and look at ways for developing a solution!
I believe that this task is an example of how students can be scaffolded to be independent and creative thinkers. It is also a great example of developing students that are citizens of the world, who are making a positive difference on this planet. This task also links with numerous Sustainable development goals regarding Water Wastage and Responsible Consumption and Production (https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/ ).
Criticisims/concerns: Students will need to be reminded to not feel guilty about everything that they buy, throw away or the amount of water used a day. Students are encouraged to take small steps toward a more sustainable way of living, to do their personal best and know that every small little contribution they can make will make a worldly difference.