I've been teaching for 14 years but at only 2 schools. Both of the schools have whats called in our district "inner city" status. This doesn't mean we're in a big city, it means that a significant number of the students are living near the poverty level. Many of the kids come from some pretty impoverished conditions and a really unstable family environment.
What i've noticed is that when these kids are given the opportunity to give back they are empowered in ways that a lunch program or free tutoring really can't touch. I like to show 2 really powerful videos. Even if you don't do this project you need to watch them. When i watch these videos and see the reactions of my students I really have to fight back tears. It is fantastic to see the kids GEARED UP for change.
So i've been thinking about what I can do with my shop kids to give them the chance to give back to the community. I want them to realize their potential for making a change not only in their own situation but for others as well. This is what i've come up with and Instructables is a perfect way to organize and present my ideas... so here ya go.
This really is two Instructables in one... I want the kids to learn how to help in their community and I want the kids to learn how to set up and build a project assembly-line style that addresses the needs they discover.
Here's my Learning Objectives...
Part One...( the brainy stuff)
-The Students will learn how to discover through research WHO needs help in their area
-Through discussion and research the students will discover WHERE the people are.
-Once the students identify who to help they need to learn WHAT they can do to help.
-The students will learn and identify HOW to find resources to accomplish the goal.
-The students will learn to communicate and cooperate as a team to achieve a goal.
-The students will become empowered and PUMPED to create change!! YA!!!
Part Two... (the practical hands on stuff)
-The students will demonstrate different ways to creatively design a product.
-The students will learn how to determine materials requirements.
-After available tools are established the students will decide which will be used. We have all sorts of tools in our shop so the students will learn and demonstrate how to safely operate the Drill press, Hand drill, Scroll saw, Jigsaw and Band saw.
-Students will learn to apply teamwork to efficiently construct a project by using piece work and assembly-line style building if needed.
Submitted by HD Stafford Middle School for the Instructables Sponsorship Program
Step 1: Determining WHO
After i explain to the class the project we move to the next step.
I'm a chalkboard kinda guy so thats where i usually start.
First i'll ask the kids WHO we can help. I've already done the research in our community and laid the groundwork but the kids don't know that. I'll guide them to the end.. :-)
I ask kids to call out ideas. No idea is a bad idea in my class so i'll write down pretty much anything. Within reason of course. Answers could include:
-Overseas... Kids in Africa, Asia
-People downtown (vancouver...housing and the homeless is a widely publicized issue... occupy being a major issue here)
-People in our area... street people usually are first mentioned
-Other kids in the area.
-People the kids know.
Whats really interesting is that the kids usually don't recognize local needs first. I try to guide them that way because it really is more practical and the kids can actually go TALK to the people.
Now I ask which groups they could more realistically help. The answer (gently guided by me) will be the people in our area. Depending on your area you might want to narrow it down a bit... I'm going to guide my kids to other kids in the area because it is something really personal for the students.