Collaborative efforts bring awareness, engagement, and advocacy from even young children in helping develop an appreciation for the natural world. It starts through an exploration of what the goals are, why we have them and why it might be important for others to know about them. Then we create a plan of action.
This is our journey…
We created awareness and listed our goals, talking about why we thought they were important and what they meant to us. What was interesting is that while we explored them and hung a poster in our classroom, they became part of our classroom culture. By doing this it was easy for me to connect conversations that we were having with a specific goal. Through our authentic and genuine curiosity about the global goals, we have all become more aware of not only what they are but why they are important. “The why” is most important because it helped drive deeper thinking and the children then had an opportunity to be reflective.
We have been exploring all year ways that we make a difference for ourselves, our school, our family and community. We started with an essential question… Where does waste go? So we created an awareness of what we thought and then created a padlet that we could share globally to find out what others in the world are doing. This was easy to tie into the global goals because as we created our own awareness, we also were able to think about how our actions could impact the climate and life on land. Yup! There just happens to be two global goals, Climate Action #13 and Life on Land #15.
Another way we helped make a difference for others was to build awareness of hunger. We were curious if people were hungry, Did children have enough food? What happens if people need food? Who helps them? Again, this is another opportunity to refer to the global goals, goal #2 zero hunger. My students collect food twice a year. Then we walk to our local food shelf and make a delivery. This is always exciting for children. They have direct experience with what it means to help others and have empathy. This is easy to do. Think of a need that your community has, build awareness and then create a plan of action that includes your students, families, and communities. Together, everyone begins to connect and weave a thread of caring because it directly impacts a need.
Now the Global Goals are a part of my classroom culture. They remind us all of what the world needs. My students understand why they are important and are creative in their ideas to find ways to make the world a better place. Even in Kindergarten, these ideas have an impact. My students are really genuinely invested in making the world a better place. I think about the impact this could have if more and more young children were familiar with making goals. Just by building awareness, through the content I explore, we are finding ways to connect to the goals. It raises awareness of the world and really, my students love learning about the world! Kindergarten seems like the perfect place to begin thinking about how we can collaborate globally to make the world a better place. We all need each other. The world needs all of us to care and make wishes come true for everyone. Why not start collaborating with your students today!
My ELL teacher, Patti Tursi collaborated with me around the goals. As an ELL teacher, she has special expertise and perspective about students who are from places other than the US. She becomes a director of our 1st documentary on the Global Goals. She sets up a filming studio in my classroom with the children and then the children begin to explore the filming equipment and play so they experience what it can be used for. Later when we film, Patti teaches us about being quiet on the set and other languages used for creating a film. This experience is real life and offers my students an opportunity to learn a new language with a new expert.
Here is our 1st documentary!
I paint a map of the world each year with my students. We add places we visit and people we connect with. We share how we are having conversations with others and what we are learning about. Now that I am aware of the Global Goals I can add the goals to our map, as well as when we explore them. This is another way we can build awareness, inspire others and think deeply about what we are doing and how. The why of our ideas is through our own reflection and how we share our voices.
As our year comes to an end I ask my students to think about why we connect globally? Why is it important? Do you think others need to connect globally too?
Here are some of their reasons…
- When we connect we show we care.
- We learn from others.
- We solve problems and learn new things.
- We like global goals because the whole world cares about everyone.
- I love the world.
- We help the world. We love the world. We connect globally because we care.
- I love to learn about the world.
- It is fun.
I believe in people and have a passion for learning. I have hope that through our collaborative efforts we will be able to make a difference globally. This means we all can begin taking 1 step at a time, building an awareness of what we can do. I am inspired by my Kindergarten students. They give me hope that we can all learn from each other and work together to keep the world healthy.