The Hurry-cane Help Project

October 4, 2017 at 9:21 AM 1 comment

Who knew that THREE huge hurricanes would ravage the lives of so many Americans this fall? Along with other horrible news, this was something that perhaps we could do something about, so I threw together this project with my trusty colleague Marshall and with the blessing of our long suffering administration who support us through risky new projects all the time.

Our 300 7th graders raised a total of $4,536.15 in six days.

It was a quick (as in 3 lessons) and engaging way of responding to world news that tied in to many academic standards (listed at the bottom of this blog), important life skills AND was really fun (and manageable) for all of us. Thank you to Keli, our school secretary, for counting up piles of crumpled up pocket-money ones and piles of change from jam jars around the house.

There were some incredibly sweet journal entries reflecting on what they learned – got all teary-eyed with this one in particular:


So how? Here’s the summary as a picture:


Here are  pictures of kids from each stage of the project:



And here are the detailed LESSON PLANS:

Day 1: Hurry Hurricane Help – what’s the situation in the aftermath of Irma and Harvey?

1. See the latest hurricane news: New York Times, Newsela, Time Magazine and CNN – “Out of the Spotlight Harveys Victims Struggle to Recover” inc video clips. Local news sources will be the best for the aftermath and recovery: The Miami Herald, The Virgin Island Daily News and The Houston Chronicle. What is happening? Walk pictures and maps around the room.

2. Which non-profit should we support? Intro

See Charity Navigator for Hurricane Harvey and then navigate to the non-profit websites.

Day 2: Hurry-cane Help! Project: Pick what to do and how.

  1. 1. Make your case – a whiteboard poster and a website. Participate in a poster session. Use at least some QUANTITATIVE DATA.

    2. Vote with pennies. Agree on a non-profit for our class to support.

    3. Make a plan for how.

    – How will you advertise and inspire people to donate money?

    – How will you collect the money?

    4. Your challenge: Raise as much money as you can in ONE WEEK for our class charity! Who will raise the most in our class?  Which class will raise the most per person? How much can we help?!


3. HOMEWORK: Fundraising for Hurry-cane Help

This is NOT for credit of course, just feeling good about doing something real for all the people affected by natural disasters right now.

You have ONE week to raise as much money as you can for the charity your class voted for.

Period 2: The Houston Food Bank

Period 3: International Medical Corps

Period 4: Convoy of Hope

Period 5: Americares

Period 6: Heart to Heart International and All Hands

Period 7: Global Giving

To count to our class total, bring in (in order of preference)

1. Print outs of a donation receipts from online donations to the charity itself. (You could ask donors to forward their e mail receipt when they make a donation).

2. A check made out to the charity. (I will send your checks to the charity.)

3. Cash.

Day 4:  Hurry Hurricane Help – Totaling and Debrief

The latest news from Puerto Rico

1. Bring in the funds you raised – cash, checks payable to the organization or printed receipts from online donations to our class’s hurricane relief non-profit.

2.  Interview teams who went outside their own families to fundraise (lemonade stands, bake sales, door to door etc.) for what the best parts and hardest parts were, and what they learned.  What are the secrets of successful fundraising?

3. Write what you learned from this whole experience.

And finally, does this project address any academic standards? Why, yes it does!

From the Next Generation Science Standards:

Asking Questions and Defining Problems

Asking questions and defining problems in grades 6–8 builds on grades K–5 experiences and progresses to specifying relationships between variables, clarify arguments and models.

Define a design problem that can be solved through the development of an object, tool, process or system and includes multiple criteria and constraints, including scientific knowledge that may limit possible solutions. (MS-ETS1-1)

Engaging in Argument from Evidence

Engaging in argument from evidence in 6–8 builds on K–5 experiences and progresses to constructing a convincing argument that supports or refutes claims for either explanations or solutions about the natural and designed world.

Evaluate competing design solutions based on jointly developed and agreed-upon design criteria. (MS-ETS1-2)

From the Common Core State Standards

RST.6–8.1                 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3)

RST.6–8.7                 Integrate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text with a version of that information expressed visually (e.g., in a flowchart, diagram, model, graph, or table). (MS-ETS1-3)

RST.6–8.9                 Compare and contrast the information gained from experiments, simulations, video, or multimedia sources with that gained from reading a text on the same topic. (MS-ETS1-2),(MS-ETS1-3)

WHST.6–8.7             Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration. (MS-ETS1-1),(MS-ETS1-1)

WHST.6–8.8             Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources (primary and secondary), using search terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. CA (MS-ETS1-1)

WHST.6–8.9             Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. (MS-ETS1-2)

Entry filed under: Critical Thinking, Research Skills, Service Projects, TAP Curriculum, The Hurry-Cane Help Project. Tags: , , , , , , .

Weighing in on Google and Chrome books Kid 2 Kid Puerto Rico Solar Oven Project

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Tanuka  |  October 5, 2017 at 2:31 PM

    Love this Sue!! Amazing writeup!



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