Grade 1 Service and Environmental Learning 2013/14.

4. Connections to the Natural World. (How do Plants Grow?) wks 30-38

Evolution of a young plant

Unit Understanding

Plants are a life-sustaining resource for us and other living things.

Essential Questions

-How do plants live and grow?
-Why should we care for plants?

Dispositions Comments


Understanding why plants are important to our world and what we can do to help take care of our world.

Transdisciplinary Skills Comments


Seeking, using and synthesizing information.


To be reviewed-Instead of plant tours, for GRASPS, could we be responsible, caring global problem solvers who are taking action to show that local, organically produced fruit and vegetables are better for ourselves and the environment, individually, locally and globally. Children keep a diary of what they are doing to grow their plant, demonstrating their understanding of how plants grow. They could produce a persuasive piece to explain how growing their plant helps the world.

Service and Environmental Aspect

The following indicate guiding questions to facilitate service and environmental inquiry. The possible actions listed below them are there to serve as suggestions for teachers to give them possible options to guide children’s inquiry into action. As always child led ideas either arising from these suggestions or completely original in source are of the utmost value.

During this unit children are inquiring into how plants are grown and why they are important to the world. This brings into focus the following environmental issues.

1.Climate Change is caused not just by pollution but by not having enough plants in the world.


How does growing more plants help our world?

Children conduct a very simple inquiry into what causes climate change on a level that can be as simple as burning things causes gas that makes our land, air and oceans warm up and plants help suck up this gas. This could be done with Pat who is knowledgeable in this field and can provide age appropriate resources.

Students could also investigate schemes to add plants to urban environments such as roof top gardens, urban farms and vertical gardens.



How can we use our creative magic to bring more plants to our school and our homes?

2.Many people are not connected to their natural environment any more.


How can growing and caring for our own plants help us to feel connected to our environment?

Children use their caring and responsible dispositions to grow their own plants and use critical thinking to solve problems that they and the plants may encounter. The plants may be placed into the community garden once they have been raised in pots which can be made from many different types of recycled things. See Kindergarten for examples and also this bank of examples –

3.Many people are not connected to other people in their community.


How do plants in community gardens help to connect us all together? Who can we work with?

Grade one could visit Preschool’s newly refurbished planters and donate some of their plants.

Grade one  can connect with grade two who could write stories about the plants during their creative expression unit. Together they can read the stories to the plants to care for them.

Grade three can make signs during their symbolism unit at this time to protect the grade one plants and to encourage others to connect.

Grade four can share with grade one why we all have a right to a sustainable environment.

4. Many people are not connected to their food any more.


How is growing your own organic fruit and vegetables better for you and others?

How are locally produced, organically grown fruit and vegetables better for ourselves and our world?

Fruit and vegetables from other countries such as Australia and USA travel in aeroplanes to get to us. See earlier lesson about climate change to connect with how this is damaging to our world. Do we need to do this? Can’t we grow our own?

If we are more connected to our food will we think more carefully about how it affects our bodies? Link to healthy choices unit. You know what goes into the fruit and vegetables you grow but you don’t if you buy processed vegetables or even raw ones grown by others that may be genetically modified.





Grade 3 Service and Environmental Learning 2013/14.


3.Connections to the Natural World.

(Sources of Energy & Renewable

Energy) wk20-29


Unit Understandings

Energy comes from different sources and can be converted, harnessed and stored.

Essential Questions

– What are the best energy sources and why?- Does energy make our lives better?

Dispositions Comments

•Must strive for accuracy and precision in researching for the task.
•In charge of locating, organizing and presenting research.
•Take ownership of final product when presenting to the audience.

Transdisciplinary Skills Comments

•Students use organizational tool provided to gather needed information
•Seek information by using a wide variety of sources
•Locate and access a broad range of current and reliable information resources
•Use information gathered
•Use research to draw conclusions about energy source


Goal- to design a house which uses sustainable / renewable energy efficient sources.
Role – You are an architect and have to design a housing / dwelling that is suitable for a family of 6 people to live in.
Audience= You clients are a family of 6 people
Situation= to create / design a house that uses sustainable / renewable energy efficient sources.
Product= create a model / diorama of your “virtual” house / city – (project made out of renewable resources). Justify why you are using a particular form(s) of energy.
Success= Rubric

Service and Environmental Learning Aspect.

1.Why is renewable energy an important issue in the world today?

How can renewable energy be used in the Philippines? Geothermal, wave, wind etc.

Look at the solar panels at ISM as an example of this.

2. As part of the going further, taking action element of the inquiry cycle. Investigate how we can reduce our energy footprint at a class, grade and school level e.g lights, devices off when not in room etc.

How can you make your own home / school a more “energy efficient” place? How can we save energy?.

Use home energy survey in G3 energy folder.

From what we have learned how can we then take action to actively reduce energy consumption in our school community, at home and beyond?


E-Trikes Grade 3 Mini Inquiry-04/04/14.


photo 2 (5)


On Friday 4th April, representatives from ADB and The Philippine Ministry of Energy came to ISM to help pupils to learn about the E-Trikes initiative. This pilot project has seen the development of a fleet of Electronically powered Tricycles which are being introduced into the streets of Manila as an alternative means of transport to the usual options of jeepneys, taxi’s buses and conventional gasoline powered tricycle engines. This offers the benefit of less airborn particles of pollution on the streets. Also it offers the possibility that if renewable energy where to be used to generate electricity, that they could provide zero carbon emissions transport. The following link gives some background.

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Students from Grade three and a grade two class had the opportunity to ask important questions to further their understanding of the advantages of using electricity as the energy used to propel this form of transport as opposed to fossil fuel based energy. It was also beneficial to see an authentic example of an innovative initiative taking place in the Philippines to tackle issues of pollution.  Below are some pictures that document the visit.

photo (71) photo 1 (4) photo 1 (5) photo 1 (6) photo 2 (4) photo 2 (5) photo 2 (6) photo 2 (7) photo 3 (1) photo 3 (2) photo 3 (3) photo 4 (1) photo 4 (2) photo 4 



4. Communication Systems (Symbolism)wk30-38

Could grade 3 investigate how they can use symbolism to communicate meaning in relation to the community garden? Messages and signs that support the message of the garden, connection, community and that communicate how we can be caring for the garden in terms of what we should and should not do. They can be produced on Bamboo pegs and placed around garden locations in the school. The Community Garden and ES noticeboards could also be used.


Preschool Service and Environmental Learning 2013/14







3.Research and Questioning


4.Physical Development (Being Healthy)


5.Collaboration (Members of a group work together to solve problems)


6.Self Management (Codes of Behaviour)


Class Buddies.


One of the corner stones of ES Service and Environmental learning is the building of Community. One of the reasons that human beings have become so detached from the Natural Systems that regulate life on this planet is that they have become ever more segregated into different categories and spheres. As a species we are somewhat detached from each other via different countries, homes and occupations. In our school, this often takes the form of children spending most of their time in their own class or grade.

One way to overcome this sense of division and to build community is to foster collaborative relationships with classes from other grades.The “Buddy” relationship between the Preschool Gentle Giraffe class and Grade Two Invisible Tigers Class  represents a good example of this.

Sept. 2013 PS Gentle Giraffes-Gr 2 Invisible Tigers Reading Buddies Slideshow HERE

Dec 2013 Dino Stomp Event Slideshow HERE



 Pre School Movable Planters

These could be used as part of the Physical development (Being Healthy) Unit. Is growing vegetables and having a garden healthy? Why? Could we grow our own vegetables in Pre School? Where and how?

This could lead on to Collaboration. Planting seeds then potting them in the planter boxes. Working as a group together to solve problems.  How can we keep our garden healthy? What do we need to do?

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ISM Community Gardens Project

In 2009 students, teachers and parents from ES, MS and HS all joined hands and built our ISM Community Garden! Since then we have been learning more about plants, making friends from all over our school and solving problems together.

Service Partners

By learning more about the people in our community we are able to help each other solve problems like trash, floods and poverty. Click here to find out more about our Service Partners, who they are, what they do and how you can get involved!

Service, Environment and Sustainability in the Wider ISM Community

Click here to discover more about the various service, environmental and sustainability initiatives happening in ISM.