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How in this media rich era can we use students’ creative energy to develop original songs and visual posters that capture people’s attention? How can music and posters launch a program and help others understand an innovative solution?
Play several songs about the environment, sustainability, and social responsibility such as “Good Garbage” by John Forster and Tom Chapin or “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell. Ask students how music and posters inform and engage people in various social causes. Introduce the ColorCycle program. How could students use music and posters that they create to engage other students in the ColorCycle program?
Have students explore how different songs or lyrical campaigns communicate with both content and tone. As they plan their music, lyrics and posters, what overarching message do they want to communicate, what tone will be motivating, how will a catchy tune and associated poster make the message more memorable? What facts and information should be communicated in the song? What visuals would help deliver the message? How might the songs and posters be used to launch the school’s ColorCycle program, keep the momentum going, and spread the initiative to other schools?
Divide students into small groups of 4-6 to research various environment songs. Their assignment is to create an aligned visual and music campaign to encourage participation in the ColorCycle program. They may want to think of a familiar song and write new lyrics for it or they could generate an entirely new tune. What is a strong title for the song?
Discuss the power of visuals to communicate. What visual symbols are informative and persuasive? How will they visually communicate the messages in a poster? For example, if the song deals with several types of pollution the visual could identify some of the pollution issues.
End the lesson with a Song Fest! Work with others in the school to select which song becomes adopted to launch the ColorCycle initiative school-wide.
High school students can teach elementary students about sustainability and environmental issues with this community ser
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