Using the environment with the curriculum- Creative Journal #5

When looking through the possible writing prompts that we created in class I really got thinking about subjects that would be hard to have the environment integrated into, I actually did not think that there would be a class where it would be hard to use the environment as a tool for learning. Normally I would have said math, but the group that presented about disconnection on March 3rd had already eliminated that thought. I started with the Grade 5 curriculum, I than glanced through the different subjects; using the environment in Art and ELA is something that seemed fairly basic but I got stuck on Health. To me the basic idea of being healthy involves going outside but I briefly remember that in Grade 5 my class talked about self-esteem, body image and healthy relationships so I decided to look more into these outcomes to integrate the environment into. The exact outcome that I am going to focus on is USC5.4 ” Analyze the connections between personal identity and personal well-being, and establish strategies to develop and support a positive self-image.” In class we have talked a lot about how important understanding stillness, and getting fresh air is to a person’s life, allowing a person to feel refreshed as well as clear their mind. Thinking about your personal identity, personal well-being and supporting a positive self-image are all super important, especially when you are in your ‘preteens’ because that is when you are most vulnerable to developing poor self-esteem (at least in my opinion). I would want my students to have a long amount of time to develop an understanding and connections between their personal identity and personal well-being, rather then them have a group discussion about these things I would have them create a journal that they would write in once a week (or more depending on how often the class is), during class time for 15 minutes. At the beginning of the year they would chose their own personal spot, away from everyone else, where they would go to for every journal time (the winter may be more difficult). In this time there would be prompts that they would have to use as guidelines as to who they are or what something means to them. An example of this would be having them look around for a few minutes to pick out a colour that relates to or has meaning to them, it is extremely basic but can go lots of places. By having them do something simple and then connect it to who they are, or what makes them happy it will allow them to really think about themselves in a positive manner.  In grade 5 kids still have a good imagination and a good understanding of who they are, but I recall this as being when I started to believe that I had to act, look or think as my friends did. A journal creates a safe place to express your thoughts and by writing outside, it is easier to clear your mind from the everyday distractions of school. In my journal I did my own version of “pick a colour, how does it connect to you and what does this mean” and since the weather has been so nice I even did it outside.

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