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Planting the Seeds of Change

Plant the seeds of change in the community! Students create symbolic planting pots and complete an activity to demonstrate how their actions can benefit those less fortunate in their town.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Organize students at a central place in the classroom such as the reading rug. Ask students who in the community inspires them. Firemen? Teachers? How do the acts of these individuals benefit your community and the people that live there?
    2. Encourage students to think about their role in the community. What can you do to help out those in need or make your community a better place? Challenge them to commit to making a positive change in their community. Students write down their commitment pledge on a piece of paper and describe how it will benefit the people in the community. The most important part of making a commitment is following through on the promise. The following activity will illustrate the positive impact one's actions can have!
    3. Using Crayola Air-Dry Clay make a small flowerpot. Lay down recycled newspaper or waxed paper over the work area. Start by gently kneading the clay to make it soft and pliable. Cover the outside of a small plastic cup with the clay by molding smoothing it with fingers. Do not add clay to the inside of the cup as moisture will soften Air-Dry Clay. Let dry for at least 3-days. Firing or baking in a kiln is not necessary.
    4. When dry, students draw their promises to the community on the flowerpot using Crayola Slick Stix™. Stain Advisement: Slick Stix contain pigments that may stain clothing, fabrics and other household surfaces. Wear a smock to protect clothing and cover your work surface with newspaper. Create symbols to represent your commitment or draw an entire scene around the pot. Look at artwork by Romare Bearden for inspiration! He used collage art to depict colorful scenes of his community. Try techniques like rubbing or smearing the Slick Stix with fingers for interesting effects!
    5. Add potting soil and seeds to the pot. Follow the directions on the seed package to care for the plant, and watch as seed grows into a strong, beautiful plant. Think about how following through on one's pledge to the community will help it grow stronger as well!
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Describe personal connections to place - especially place as associated with immediate surroundings.

    SS: Analyze a particular event to identify reasons individuals might respond to it in different ways.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource includes: Community Helpers from A to Z by Bobbie Kalman

    As part of a beautification project, and with administrative approval, students collaborate to design, plant, and care for a garden on school grounds. Have students name their garden, such as "The Responsibility Garden."

    Invite a guest from a local food bank, homeless shelter, or nursing home to speak to the class. Students design questions for the speaker prior to the visit. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Students work as a whole class to brainstorm needs of the school or their community. Identify a specific need that the class would like to champion. Arrange for a time when students can meet with the principal for project approval. Students should arrive at the meeting with a written plan of action, time frame that they believe is needed, and materials for the project.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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