A short write up of a grade 6 interdisciplinary unit between English/German Language a& Literature and Design. The drive behind this unit was looking at the ethics with creatives raising awareness of human impact on the environment, compared to scientists.
Below you can see the statement of inquiry, and inquiry questions. You might see that the debatable was not written strictly as a debatable questions, but I had students pick apart from the question to turn it into debates. The question was "why do we we do things that we know damage the environment?". Students discussed roles/responsibilities - who is the 'we' in that situation, and they also debated the use of the word 'know' - to what extent do we actually know how much damage we are doing? Also we were able to talk about what drives us to make change, through looking at convenience and cost.
The unit in design was longer, with language and literature jumping on at the end.
We started off by looking at the painting Manifest Destiny, by Alexis Rockman, and debating the different between propaganda and persuasion (something I have blogged about before here).
We then looked again at the UN Global Goals and then explored a range of campaigns to show human impact on the environment. Here's some of what we looked at:
One of the first assessment in design, was a pitch to the class. They had to say what their issues was (deforestation, ocean plastic, etc), why it is a big problem, what they want to do about it, and they had to show several designs. They also showed how other creatives raised awareness of their chosen issue. This helped me cover Criterion A and B in Design. Students took this very seriously, and did formal pitches, introducing themselves as designers, thanking the audience for their time and more! Task Sheet Here.
After they had feedback, students developed their ideas, then made their final models. Students were able to work in pairs or individually to produce their models. Over all I was super impressed with their work, especially how passionate and articulate their were about the issue. Next year we do this unit again, but will bring all of the language acquisition teams on board too. We will also invite parents in to see the exhibition.
Students produced accompanying Op-Ed pieces and poems in their Lang & Lit classes too.
Here are some photos showing the process, and of the finished models:
And here is the presentation I used at the front of the room....
I really enjoyed this unit. I loved working with my Lang & Lit colleagues. We even has one ESL group join in with some language acquisition work at the end. I am excited to see how this unit grows next year - I also visited the Grade 5 exhibition, and saw many had chosen topics about the environment, so know they are going to be engaged and produce excellent work!
Feel free to ask me any questions.