By: Chelsey LaTender
My name is Chelsey LaTender, and I am double majoring at the College of Menominee Nation in biological and physical sciences and pre-environmental engineering technology. I plan on graduating in the fall of 2016 and transferring to University of Wisconsin Madison to study bio-medical engineering. This semester I was a student worker at the Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) as a POSOH intern. During the course of the semester, I researched and created a lesson plan for kindergartners and second graders.
This was something I had never done before, and it was challenging at first to find activities that were age appropriate for each class but still be able to deliver a sustainability message to them. To begin the lesson for the kindergartners, I explained what it meant to “go green”, followed by the book, “The Bernstein Bears Go Green.” After which students brainstormed more ideas on how they can be green. They concluded the lesson by being given pieces of blue circle shaped construction paper that symbolized our earth and decorated it using green finger paint and green glitter. When I went into a second grade classroom with another intern where we focused on sustainability and the six parts of the sustainability model. We also did different activities with them to help them understand the needs versus wants concepts, and also creating different collages using recyclables and other materials.
This was a really good experience for me because I have limited experience working with kids. I also liked the idea of explaining what sustainability was on a really basic level to these students who are just being introduced to the term. I found it helpful for me to look up the standards were that are in the state of Wisconsin and also to see different activities that teachers are doing across the country to help students understand what sustainability means. It was interesting to see the differences between kindergartners and second graders and the concepts that they learn. In conclusion, I enjoyed the process of coming up with lesson plans and interacting with the kindergartners and second graders. I also liked seeing how they got excited over sustainability and working towards a more clean and healthy world.