- Review Process
- Take Action
- A project of
This guide for taking action provides an opportunity to engage students in a service learning project. They investigate how storm water run-off can effect the water cycle, ecosystem preservation, flooding, pollution and the quality of their drinking water. The resource, written directly for the students to use, provides a comprehensive guide to five steps involved in service learning (investigation, preparation, acting, reflecting and demonstrating) and culminates in a student-driven action plan to limit the environmental damage from storm water runoff in their school yard. The guide links each stage of the service learning process to local issues and provides graphic organizers, case studies and questions to consider.
Stage One- Investigate: Why Storm Water Matters
The first stage of service learning asks students to find and reflect on essential information about storm water runoff in preparation for developing an action plan.
Students review the hydrologic cycle, the terminology related to storm water management and discuss why storm water runoff matters in their community. They use media, film and the Internet to identify important local issues. Students interview community leaders about storm water issues and conduct surveys to gauge general awareness of the environmental impacts of run off. Students then work in groups to complete a Rain Check School Storm Water Management Inventory in the school yard, collecting data to document current infrastructure, signs of poor water flow indicators and any impervious surfaces. A Google Maps tool is used to generate maps of the audited area and students are given guidelines to help them calculate the percentage of impervious surfaces and the volume of storm water displaced on school grounds.
Stage Two- Preparation
Students examine case studies involving the impact of urbanization in Atlanta Georgia and Washington DC. Improvements to the volume of runoff after Washington’s implementation of green infrastructure are used to generate ideas for addressing storm water issues in the students' own community. They are asked to consider such options as installing pervious surfaces, green roofs, cisterns, rain barrels, and native plant and rain gardens. Students discuss the information they have gathered from the different sources and create a mind map or visual representation showing how storm water production, movement and consequences are related.
Stage Three- Act
Using the Rain Water School Storm Water Audit, students develop ideas for beneficial changes in the stormwater management of the school grounds. Students determine what will be required to make the desired changes, including convincing stakeholders, acquiring funds, and changing people’s behaviors. Case studies describing the implementation of each type of service action (direct action, indirect action, advocacy, research) are discussed and students generate ideas for their action project. Using the Plan for Storm Water Action Document, students generate ideas, create a time line for action, and prepare a communication strategy. The action plan is presented to the school administration. Upon approval, students complete their action plan, monitoring their progress as they move forward.
Stage Four- Reflect: Think Back
Students use a Four Square Reflection Tool to reflect on the success of the service learning opportunity, including their thoughts, ideas, feelings, and further questions generated by this experience.
Stage Five: Telling the Story
Students demonstrate what they have learned by
This project could be used to enrich science classes addressing outcomes related to water quality, water pollution, sustainable ecosystems and waste reduction. It could also enhance geography and social studies courses that study the impacts of human activity and urbanization on the planet, and to teach how to take action to solve social and environmental problems. After school eco-clubs could use this as a community improvement project as well.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
Students gather facts through research and investigation and make their own conclusions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The resource encourages open-end solutions and relates environmental issues to the complexities of human activity.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Very Good|
The resource serves as a step by step manual for planning and implementing an action plan.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Good|
This resource emphasizes the importance of citizen science and the message is "stormwater matters because the planet matters.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
Students create action plans to reduce the effects of storm water run off in their own school yard.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students are encouraged to consider and develop their own thoughts and opinions.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although primarily a science resource, there are opportunities to address outcomes in geography and social studies. The focus of the resource is the development of the action plan and the lines between subject boundaries are definitely blurred.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
There are no accommodations suggested for students with learning difficulties. The resource has a wide variety of activities including exploring various research techniques, experiential out-of-doors learning, using concept maps, creating videos, pamphlets and brochures, writing letters and proposals for action, and participating in various types of presentations.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Although reflection questions are provided, it is up to the teacher to design assessment tools.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Relevant and varied case studies are used throughout the resource. They are relevant to the purpose of each stage and will help students make connections and send their own action plan in an appropriate direction.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Very Good|
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|