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Island Lake Elementary Students Learn Persuasive Writing Through Water Guardians Service-Learning Unit

Posted by Nick Coughlin on April 26

This Spring, all 5th grade students at Island Lake Elementary School in Shoreview, MN participated in our new Water Guardians program! Their teachers were looking for a service-learning project that would be relevant for their persuasive writing unit and chose to pursue Water Guardians with their distance-learning students. 

“We usually have an argument and advocacy unit we use but due to distance learning and the switching of learning models we decided to use this program and implement some of the same skills and strategies… We completed the 5 lessons in week one which was our research and learning week, the following week was building their persuasive essays, posters, and speeches they would use to fundraise and raise awareness, leaving the last week strictly for raising money for the community the 5th graders chose as a group. (3 weeks total)”  said Kristi Schwartz, one of the teachers implementing the project.

135 students made posters and created info-graphics, wrote articles for their school newsletter, and prepared scripts to share over the school announcements.  Together they raised over $2000 to go towards a clean water project for their partner project in the Navajo Nation!  

How did their students feel about the program? Kristi said, “They liked it, and definitely learned new things. I remember a student saying after one of the lessons, ‘I just had no idea.’ We also connected the Mark Rober YouTube video “Drinking Nasty Swamp Water”  to the lessons and it was great for students to see those visuals.”   

When we asked what advice they would give other teachers thinking about using the Water Guardians program, Kristi shared, “Go through the program yourself, not only do you learn a lot, but you are also able to better help guide your students as they work through the program. Have fun with it and let your students lead conversations about how they feel learning about the Global Water Crisis. You never know the ideas and passion students will bring.”

Thank you Island Lake Elementary 5th grade students and teachers for doing your part to help solve the global water crisis!

Learn more by visiting waterguardians.org

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