1S Studies Ocean Animals, Writes Poetry, and Raises Money to Prevent Plastic Pollution

Our first graders in 1S have been learning about ocean animals and raising money to prevent ocean pollution from plastics!
This was a student-selected curriculum unit. “One day I found the boys busy making posters campaigning to save ocean wildlife from plastic pollution,” said First Grade Teacher Barbara Shindler. “Following their lead, and their obvious passion for this cause, I researched charities whose mission it is to protect the environment from plastic pollution.”
Ms. Shindler presented the boys with options, and they voted on a charity to support. The boys chose Plastic Pollution Coalition (www.plasticpollutioncoalition.org), which is a global alliance of individuals, organizations, businesses, and policymakers that strive to rid the world of plastic pollution and eliminate the toxic impact that it has on the world as a whole – including humans, animals, waterways and oceans, and the environment. To raise money, the boys held a walkathon through Central Park and made pom-poms and origami to sell to faculty and staff.
In conjunction with their advocacy, the boys researched and wrote poems about ocean animals that are special to them with the help of Lower School Librarian Bonnie Tucker. As their final showcase, the boys drew beautiful illustrations of their animals and practiced pubic speaking by reading their poems out loud to an audience of their families, faculty and staff.  
“I was thrilled to see their enthusiasm, spirit and commitment and loved encouraging their interest in learning about and helping with an important cause.” Says Ms. Shindler.
While discussing their words of the month, one boy connected a vocabulary word, “thoughtful”, to their pollution prevention project when he said, “it is thoughtful not to put plastics in the ocean” – a great example of putting words into action!

Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.