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Namrata Dixit
Science  Grade 6

Activity:  My Footprint Matters and What I Plan to do about it!

We are learning about the impact of human beings on the Earth and the resulting consequences.  We the students of Candlewood want to share with the world that we care about the earth just as much as any other children around the world and that we are taking concrete steps to reduce garbage produced in our school.  

Learning Context

This unit is a part of our Ecology study and the purpose of this project is to integrate 21skills for the 21st Century Learning through the use of technology into our Science classroom.  Students will be able to:
1. Communicate clearly
2. Connect globally
3. Cope with change
4. Demonstrate innovativeness
5. Benchmark a process
6. Distinguish fact from opinion
7. Frame problems and solutions
8. Give an effective presentation
9. Lead a team
10.Learn outside the classroom
11. Make complex choices
12. Manage a negotiation
13. Motivate others
14. Organize information
15. Read a digital map
16. Resolve conflict
17. Respond to a blog
18. Sell ideas to others
19. Set priorities and goals
20. Use technology well
21. Work effectively in teams

This Project is part of the Lexus Challenge Competition.

 This project will serve as a Differentiated Instruction aspect of the unit, by making new learning available, in student-friendly language, to students who may still be confused and need further reinforcement. This project will serve as a pathway of communication with families at home so that students will bring what they are learning in school home.  This project will allow students the ability to reflect and communicate, two vital skills, with future students about the learning process that took place in this unit.  This unit is our first unit, the genre of Memoir.  Students have been immersed in a Writer's Workshop where they have used Mentor Texts as a vehicle to learn, study, and analyze the genre of memoir.  Students will write their own memoirs as a result of this unit. This project is a creative way for students to share their memoirs in a world that is is centered in technology as a form of communication.

Learning Standards and Objectives Addressed

1. To make students aware that resources used on Earth are not equal from one country to another
2. Students will learn that America's rate of consumption far exceeds what the Earth can sustain
3. Students will learn how to make informed and environmentally aware purchasing choices using sound science and critical thinking skills, not to force them into any particular point of view.  Students will develop an awareness of behaviors that have positive effects in the community and natural environment.
4.Students will understand the connection between what they buy and the environment, how teenagers significantly influence today's economy, and actions they can take to make a difference.
5.Students will gain an awareness of the quantities and composition of the waste generated at their school.  "When the Chips are Down"
6.Students will learn how fast humans consume natural resources.
7.Students will see the influence that marketing and advertisting has on consumption patterns.


1. Students take the Ecological Footprint quiz online in the Mac Lab
2. Students watch a PowerPoint presentation to understand how each of us uses natural resources as we live our daily lives. They answer question and then watch "The Story of Stuff" by Annie Leonard.
3. Students brainstorm as a class to find out which areas in school produce the most waste.
4. Students collect garbage at lunch, in three separate bags - recycled, compost, and just regular garbage.
5. Students measure, count and sort through the garbage.
6. Students work in teams and are asked to explain why there is a disparity between the amount of solid waste which is recycled and which could be recycled.
7. They select a set of possible explanations and select one that they will focus on.
8. Students design posters for, 'Waste Free Lunch,' and educated students at their lunch tables.
9. Students created Rap songs for performing in the advisory rooms.
10. Students collect the garbage again after the message is spread and share the result with everyone.
11. They identified that paper, plastic bottles, and garbage generated at lunch are definite problems in our school.
12. Students have started taking active part in the school recycling program. Students are educating families about generating less waste. They have set up smart goals for themselves to be better citizens of the earth.
13. They are researching on where a particular product comes from and what goes into its production and shipping it to United States.
14.Students learn to use Voicethread. They make comments using the 5 ways on the pages they have created to share with the world, actions that they are taking, to reduce the size of their Ecological footprint.

Time Required

Started as a in class nine days unit and then interested students who wanted to explore the project further will continue it the entire school year. Forty-five minute once a week after school and at lunch.

Technology Skills Learned

  • Word Processing
  • Internet Browsing
  • Multimedia
  • Programs
  • GarageBand
  • iMovie
  • Digital camera
  • Cell phone  

Other Skills Learned or Reinforced

The 21st Centuary skills mentioned above.


  • Digital Camera
  • Internet
  • Computers
  • Microphones
  • projector
  • cell phones

Assessment Plan

Student understanding is assessed informally through the use of questioning and exit cards. Students are required to write and initial the brainstorming and research conducted during group work. Students comments for the Voicethread will be graded based on the rubric. Voicethread Comment Paragraph Rubric
Main/Topic Idea Sentence
(Includes use of specific termin-ology from glossary
Main/Topic idea sentence is clear, correctly placed, and is restated in the closing sentence Main/Topic idea sentence is either unclear or incorrectly placed, and is restated in the closing sentence 
 Main/Topic idea sentence is unclear and incorrectly placed, and is restated in the closing sentence
Main/Topic idea sentence is unclear and incorrectly placed, and is restated in the closing sentence
Supporting Detail Sentence(s)
Includes use of specific ecological terminology from glossary 
Paragraph has three or more supporting detail sentences that relate back to the main idea Paragraph has two supporting detail sentences that relate back to the main idea. 
Paragraph has one supporting detail sentence that relate back to the main ideas 
Paragraph has no supporting detail sentences that relate back to the main ideas

Mechanics and Grammar

Paragraph has no errors in punctuation, capitalization, and spelling
Paragraph has one or two punctuation, capitalization, and spelling errors
Paragraph has three to five punctuation, capitalization, and spelling errors
Paragraph has six or more punctuation, capitalization, and spelling errors


There is a possibility of 28 points. Possible bonus points of up to 2 for extra effort/creativity.


A awesome 27-30
B admirable 23-26
C acceptable 18-22
D barely acceptable 15-17
F not acceptable < 15


I am writing this at 11:27 pm after a long day at school and am extremely tired but at the end of the day I feel a sence of accomplishment.  I would have never taken the time to learn and really apply the, GarageBand or the iMovie in my classroom if it was not for the laptop program.  The last couple of weeks I've worked very hard and my students have worked even harder.  It was amazing for them to see my reaction when I was frustrated with my lack of knowledge with technology.  They were at ease and extremely technology savy. They were patient with me when I had difficuly. I now have more confidence using new technology as I know that the students in the class will help me learn and figure things out when we get stuck.  I am extremely excited about this project and hope to connect to many teachers around the world.  If you have an idea of what you what to do, Ellen Robertson is extremely supportive and comes and spends time with you to unravel the mysteries. I must thank my colleagues at Candlewood - they assisted me every step of the way by being supportive and sharing their time and resources.

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