What if Everybody Were to Do That?
Grade 1 Students Explore "Who We Are"
Student-initiated action is a big part of the IB Primary Years Programme. Encouraged often and in many ways, students are provided the agency (and techniques and skills and understanding) to act.
In this culture of “I can,” students become more reflective, more independent people and learners; they learn they can help others and help themselves. Grade 1 teachers Ms. Allison Bruce and Ms. Nicola Pitzey explain this evolution as shifting students’ focus from “self” to working “as one.” And since actions can have both positive and negative impact, students learn not just of their right to act, but their need to act responsibly. To support this, a special phrase has been coined.
Borrowed from a book and heard often in class, “what if everybody did that?” is a prompt our teachers and students know well.
“And since actions can have both positive and negative impact, students learn not just of their right to act, but their need to act responsibly.”
The premise of the book is simple. One action – say, littering or speaking up in class – may seem insignificant, but what if everybody were to do it? What if everyone began littering and not listening? The two classes explore this idea during one big story time. Flipping through the book’s pages, Ms. Bruce and Ms. Pitzey encourage student participation and reflection by way of thumbs up! (for positive impact) or thumbs down (negative impact).
After the book is over, students take things a step further by writing and drawing their own versions of the book. Students’ ideas are individual and varied: what if everybody were to pick leaves from the trees? litter in the north forest? throw cans from the bus? Students learn, then demonstrate, that every action has an impact.
Involving literacy, comprehension, thinking, reading, writing and drawing, the activity “reinforces and makes more meaningful,” an important lesson, our teachers explain. In one activity or many, students become empowered to “problem-solve and make positive change.”