I Speak for the Trees

Student(s): Ally Merlos, Zoe Wietfieldt, Riley Yamamoto, Sam Wilson, Anna Moskos
Mentor Teacher: Kim Varney School District: Kalamazoo
MSU Instructor: Kim Keglovitz Email: kkeglovitz@gmail.com
Date: May 2012 Building: TBD Grade Level: 4th Grade
First Trimester: _____x____ Second Trimester: _____x____ Third Trimester: ____x_____
First Semester: ______x____ Second Semester: _____x____

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Type of Service

Restoring the Environment

Point of Entry

To demonstrate ways in which students can effectively and independently save the environment.


Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

To improve school attitudes towards recycling by involving students in creative projects to reduce waste.


Rationale & Goal

State the goal of your SL project.

The goal of this project is to encourage students to think about how recycling helps keep the environment clean. This service-learning project will not only improve children’s mindset towards environmental sustainability, but it will also improve the natural conditions in which they live.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

The community need is to reduce waste that could harm the environment. In order to determine the need, the class read the Lorax and talked about the dangers of ignoring the amount of unsustainable resources being used.

What service will you provide to address the need?

To address the need, the project created will allow students to see the effect they have by recycling daily paper waste in a competitive manner.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

This project includes both scientific and mathematical aspects. Through science, the class learned about sustaining the environment and the benefits of recycling. Through math, the class learned to create bar graphs to track the progress of recycled paper.

What are the educational goals?

The educational goals will be to increase their ability to read and understand graphs as well as enhance their awareness of environmental issues.


Curriculum Crafter Connections www.curriculmcrafter.com

Strand: 04SCI: (Physical Science)
TLW: Compare and contrast states of matter and explain how matter can change from one state to another. (Gist: States of Matter)

Strand: 04 Math: (Measurement and Data)
TLW: Represent and interpret data. (Gist: Represent and Interpret Data)


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

As a way of reflection, the students’ progress will be graphed by classroom as well as displayed in a tree-shaped bin marking the number of trees they save by the height of the recycled material. The graphs will be updated weekly for several months and will be used in reflection at the end of the week to see the progress made.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

During our project, students will experience numerous diverse perspectives and experiences. By looking at service-learning projects from other countries, students will gain an idea of what other countries find to be important environmental issues. Students will also brainstorm different recycling perspectives in numerous communities from the school, the country, and the world.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

Students will gain ownership by creating and implementing recycling programs throughout the school. Students will also have the opportunity to create their own calendar for when they would like to have collection dates. They will be responsible for graphing the progress as well as promoting participation throughout the school as well as the community.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

For this project, the class will reach out to other classrooms throughout their building to have a collection competition. The class will also partner with the school newsletter and various media sources to promote awareness and participation.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

By allowing students to work with other classrooms in their building, they will be able to create strong connections with other students.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

The partner will gain more awareness of the issue at hand and help contribute to the elimination of waste, which will better the environment.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Student learning goals will be assessed by the graphs of the progress as well as the reflection held weekly. This will demonstrate the students’ learning for it will show in their knowledge and passion for creating a better environment.

How will you assess your service goals?

Service goals will be assessed by the participation of the students as well as the amount of waste reduced and recyclable material produced.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Students will be prepared first by reading the Lorax. This book will stimulate class discussion on the importance of recycling and maintaining a healthy environment. From this discussion, sciences classes will further inform students on pollution and the dangers it causes. Math classes will prepare students by instructing them on how to formulate graphs and charts.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project would be graphing the progress made and creating bins to use for collecting recyclable materials.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

This project addresses the issue of sustainability by demonstrating the importance of sustaining the environment. Economic growth will result through recycling materials and promoting awareness. Social progress is created through the interaction of students between various classrooms and working together towards the common goal of reducing waste and saving the environment.