Wanting to get away from the usual bag decorating for Earth Day, I tried to come up with a unique way to celebrate this day with my students and to instill the idea that actually recycling something for something other than money (which we all do love and need) that would foster a team spirit among the 4 class groups. I came up with the idea of "The Tin Can Man Project".
To kick it off, I used my local freecycle and asked my fellow freecyclers to save and colelct the types of cans that food comes in. I asked for the unusual as well as the good old standard coffee cans. I was able to collect a large box full to divide up amongst the 4 groups and get them started in brainstorming their own versions of the Tin Can Man. I also sent home a notice to parents for students to bring in cans. We got a wonderful response!
The fact that I was giving the first place classroom a hot dog party also spurred them on. Even the PL's got into the spirit of a little friendly competition
Things were a little rough at first; students felt that they "couldn't" and told me things like we are not creative! We just pushed past that.
The cafeteria manager got wind of what we were doing and offered to rinse and save the big commercial size cans that the ketchup, fruit cocktail and vegetables come in. Once we had the big cans, the idea that these could transform into life sized robot-like creatures helped to put our project off on new footing.
The week that we did this, was week 1 of Star Testing and the kids were absolutely sick and tired of sitting quietly and needed to touch feel and discover.
This project took us two weeks from start to finish. One of the wonderful things is that it brought teachers into the program that had never taken the time to visit, so that they could see what was going on. During this time, my poor attendance BOOMED!
Last Friday, we had the Daytime School Staff come in and cast a ballot for their favorite Tin Can Man. The participation between daytime and afterschool was awesome!
I am also enclosing some pictures. As you can tell, I am very proud of this project. The teamwork involved for 25 students in each class to work together, consider ideas different from their own and make decisions based on the greater good of the whole team truly warmed my heart. EVERY student played a part in this project.
See more pics: Flickr