On Tuesday February 26th, 5th grade came for a field trip to the mangrove. Felipe arrived at my place at around 8:45, and we gathered the materials such as shovels and prepared the space. The 5th graders arrived a little after 9:00 and at around 9:15 we were settled down and touring the nursery. They asked some questions, and then we moved on to the actual mangrove to do a sensory writing activity. First, the kids sat at the dead part and wrote down their observations in a graphic organizer, and then did the same at the alive part in order to compare. During this activity, I was untangling the roots of the mangroves in the bucket that Sebastian had given me a few weeks ago, which were ready to plant due to their developed roots, but it was difficult to untangle them since they were so dense already. I was able to untangle about 50-60 seedlings, which was about half of the bucket, and by this time, the students finished the observation activity so we went back to the restaurant for a snack. My family’s restaurant donated some watermelon and made some lemonade for all us. My mom also baked banana bread for all of us, and everyone was really happy with the snacks. While the students finished eating up, I explained the next activity, which was planting. I briefly went over the steps for planting the mangrove, as well as some precautions while being in the mud. Once everything was done, we headed down to the mangrove and I jumped in for a little demonstration of the planting process, then all the students joined me and we planted more! We ended up planting around 50-60 mangroves (the ones I was able to untangle). During this time, a group of students also focused on taking a collage picture for their artwork as part of their sustainability anchor project. Felipe and I had to leave early in order to make it back in time for our classes, but in general the field trip went really well and we successfully planted a good amount of mangroves! It was really inspiring to see the future generation working for the planet and helping to save this environment. My consciousness has shifted through the CAS experience because I have become more aware of the consequences of my actions that can potentially harm the environment and its organisms, therefore I try to use less plastic, pick up trash from the beach, and help restore this mangrove in order to bring back a habitat for such a large population of species. Through my project I also hope to motivate and inspire others to make that shift of consciousness in order to save our planet and save ourselves. With so many environmental issues nowadays, it is important that we take action, even the smallest actions like not using a straw, planting a tree or picking up a piece of trash you see on the beach; it could all save an animals’ life and make our would a better, cleaner place for them and for all of us. It is even more important to train the future generations to do this in order to assure they will help maintain the planet at a good state, and improve it. My field trip with 5th grade was totally focused on that, because basically every activity we did was completely selfless, we didn’t do anything for our own selves, what we did was to serve the planet and improve the ecosystem of the mangrove. Indirectly, it does end up affecting us in the long term, but in the short term we are restoring a home for many organisms. I thought the 5th graders were really motivated and had a strong sense of purpose and direction in their work, they are also knowledgeable and they demonstrated this through their thoughtful actions or the great questions they asked for understanding. I think that if children are able to understand the importance of caring for the planet, so should adults, and we should all work together to care for our world. Lack of knowledge is sometimes an issue and people simply aren’t aware, that is why part of the goal of my project is to raise awareness and make people conscious about these issues and how they’re able to contribute themselves. Although as humans we have caused a lot of damage, I believe we all have the power to do good in this world and revert our mistakes. We are running against time, and if we don’t do anything, we’ll eventually fall into a hole we won’t be able to climb out of, so I truly hope to inspire others through my actions and get the community involved. Being selfish is going to kill you; using a straw for pleasure to sip your drink, is probably going to kill a sea turtle when it ends up in the ocean. Every action truly matters and every action will have an effect, but it’s our job to try to minimize the impact of our decisions.
Learning outcomes: Global Importance, Ethical implications, Work collaboratively, Commitment and perseverance, Strengths and areas for growth, New challenges and new skills, Plan and initiate
Learner profiles: Communicator, Reflective, Open-minded, Inquirer, Knowledgeable, Risk-taker, Balanced, Caring
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