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Vignettes – Middle Years – Sustainability – Land use
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Sustainability – Land use
Jacqueline teaches a year 6 class. As part of a ‘Sustainability’ unit, Jacqueline reads newspaper extracts and introduces photographs illustrating land use along the local waterway. She invites all students to make statements about the waterway, its uses, threats and future, on the classroom Graffiti Wall.
Students are supported to suggest areas of inquiry. They brainstorm strategies for seeking information and sources that are in the community. Key ideas are listed on class charts. The students then progressively develop and refine guiding questions.
Jacqueline utilises a rubric to clarify expectations and define important components of the project. From her prior experience with rubrics Jacqueline feels confident that they will also scaffold a common language with students and enhance dialogue and action.
The students plan walks along the waterway and nearby tributaries and flood plain. Using the internet, the class researches the responsible management agencies and what they are doing about the issues.
They invite people who use the waterway and appropriate experts to meet them during the walk to explain key features and land uses. The local environmental group explains the waterway’s health, possible threats and solutions. Students make a visual record of the waterway with the digital camera.
At school, students continue to develop their area of inquiry. They undertake simple water quality tests and research additional information in the library and online. The unit of inquiry culminates in students preparing a report to present to their local council, identifying features they would retain, threats to the waterway and what they consider to be suitable solutions.