This blog post takes you on the journey of a small group of students who were inspired to take action in their world. Like most service learning experiences at school, we started with a provocation to engage our minds! To begin we looked at a slideshow with many images depicting (showing) different ways people are sharing the planet.
At this point we were starting to investigate what things are happening around the world. We also learned about each other by doing a mini interview to find out more about our classmates. We found out about the interests, skills and talents and also what parts of sharing the planet were important to each child. Some children were interested in animals, some were more interested in the environment while others were keen to find out more about other people.
After recognizing our interests, skills and talents we started to lean more about the topics by looking at books, using the internet and finding out if there were experts we could ask. We put our student questions into different categories, based on how we could find the answers. Media (books, internet, Youtube), information, surveys, or observations.
Taking Action: Using the MISO Method
Includes internet however it also includes books, television, newspapers, journals, maps and more. Some children in our class were surprised that in some places girls are unable or not allowed to go to school.
A few children had heard about this before and some children really wanted to investigate this further. We found out some reasons why some girls can’t go to school, and some reasons why they should.
Finding out from an expert. With interviews you often hear information that hasn’t even arrived in the mass media. We invited Ms. Dianne into our classroom to talk about her experiences. Ms Dianne has been helping 84 girls in a school in the village of kms 35 in Laos that don’t have running water. When some girls in our class heard that she is getting things ready to take to the girls, they were really interested to find out how to help.
Survey: Gathering from a broader population of people with vested interest in the topic or what other students know or think about the topic of girls education.
Observation and Experience:
Ms Dianne visited the girls pre-workshop and shared photo stories and relayed her experiences of visiting the girls in their homes, shared stories of the lack of facilities at school to deepen the student’s knowledge and understanding of the issue. Based on the MISO method used during their research the small group of girls decided to do a few things:
- Make a poster to show the little girls how to use soap to wash their hands.
- Make a poster to show how to brush your teeth.
- Collect soap to send to the girls by writing a letter to all the kids in 3DL to ask to donate soap.
Today Narda wrote a letter and gave it to everyone in our class to ask for a donation of a new soap bar. The soap bar will be taken by Ms Dianne to some girls in Laos as part of the Lotus Education Fund Ltd. Narda decided that writing a letter and helping collect soap would be a great way to take action and help. Please feel free send in one new bar of soap with your child if they remember to give you the note from Narda. She will be collecting soap donations until December holidays.Nardas’ request for soap donations
The girls wanted to connect and send a personal message to the Lotus girls so they created a video message which was shared on Youtube “Girls for education”.
The handwashing kit, video and 200 cakes of soap were delivered to the Lotus girls at school as part of a handwashing workshop.
- Handwashing kit
- Bars of soap
The Lotus girls with the help of Ms Dianne created a handwashing thank you video for the girls in 3DL
Linking Curriculum to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
A great way for students to learn about sharing the planet with people in ways that we can connect across cultures and learn about important issues. In this instance the students connected their study with three SDG’s and how they could develop understanding and support the Lotus girls.
A Final Note
Both the students and teachers really valued the support shown by the students in 3DL through the creation of resources for the handwashing workshop in February 2016. As a follow-up Lotus crowdfunded $300 for the construction of three toilets at the school in partnership with the local villagers who would provide the labour.
During her last visit in October 2016 Ms Dianne was excited to see that the toilet block had been completed and clean water was set up for the students to use for handwashing.
Thank you 3DL this was all due to your initiative and what a great way to learn about how the SDG’s connect to learning in the classroom.