The New, Improved “Take Action Project” Starts!

February 7, 2020 at 2:34 PM Leave a comment

World Wildlife Living Planet 2018 Report says that there has been a 60% decline in all animal species since 1970, 50% of corals have gone in the past 30 years. It’s terrifying and unfit for middle school consumption unless… it’s tied to something kids can do – that’s the reason for the Take Action Project, going now since 2007. This years feels like the best yet. The biggest change is the addition of a community open house, rebranded as “Orinda, Take Action!”.

Here’s the challenge for students:

Pick an action that will help save energy, water, food, carbon or the environment (and often $ too). Walk the walk before you talk the talk: do it yourself first, then find out about the problems facing the world and figure out how much your action can help if many more people did it too. Make an ad campaign to persuade the Orinda community to join you in taking action. You’ll learn how to do scientific research, how to communicate clearly, recover from ‘fails’, persuade others, and how to manage projects from start to triumphant finish! Make a real difference to tomorrow’s world. 

Here’s the overview of the project.

And here is a copy of the lesson plans including loads of links and step by step for each part of the project. I’m adding to it as we go.

Preparation for the Project

  • Try very hard to get a colleague to do this with you – great to have someone to bounce ideas off of, commiserate with, problem solve with and share the blame with. This is a big deal kind of project, not an easy ‘do this and boom! done.’ Also great for kids to feel part of a greater number moving forward together on a shared project.
My great colleague Marshall 🙂
  • Read through all the materials. Duh, right? But a step I often skip and then regret.
  • Consider doing a project yourself along with the kids – it’s fun to be able to commiserate over fails, recover and be aware of the bottlenecks and hard parts to inform your teaching.
Modeling doing a TAP project myself. Had to change it to the slightly less exhausting “Reduce my C footprint with carpooling, public transit, biking and walking”
  • Run the project by the administration.
  • Book the space for the final project open house.
  • Plan backward from that deadline. I’m including a shot of our timing.

Next post will be on introducing the project to students and helping them to pick their project.

Entry filed under: Biodiversity and Ecology, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Environmental Education, Orinda Take Action Project, Orinda, Take Action Project, Project Based Learning, TAP Curriculum. Tags: , , , , , .

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