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Since March 2015, Humaneness 101 has taught seven humane education classes to 5th grade students at Woodstock Elementary School in Portland, Oregon. Ivy has been the main instructor. Our team members Liat and Madison also have interacted with students in activities. Mandy, Leila, Mick, Nick, and Mary Pat have contributed to curriculum development.
In the previous six weeks, we talked about the idea of being humane, pet homelessness, factory farming, wildlife extinction and habitat destruction, plastic pollution, climate change, tragedy of the commons, child labor and sweatshop. Last week, students learned to make their own Public Service Announcement (PSA).
Ivy started the class by presenting a famous quote of Mahatma Gandhi, "My life is my message". Students discussed the meaning of this quote and the impact of personal message. They thought about their own messages, what word they'd like to spread to other people.
How can individuals can raise awareness for social justice issues? Ivy told students the life story of Frederick Douglass. As an African-American slave, Frederick Douglass learned to read and write, and used his skills join the movement of antislavery by giving speeches, writing for newspapers, writing biographies, etc..
Then, students learned that a good way to spread their message is to make their own Public Service Announcement (PSA)! Ivy gave students some examples of interesting PSAs, and discussed some tips for making a good PSA.
Later in class, students all made their own PSAs as their final project in this series of humane education lessons. They picked their favorite humane education topics, and brainstormed solutionary conclusions about how to help fix the problem. At the end of the class, we had PSAs about factory farming, recycling, reducing waste, etc.. Students' creativity and compassion were fully demonstrated through this last project. Before the class ended, we hung up all these hand-made PSAs outside the classroom. Other students at Woodstock Elementary School can now learn from their peers.
Some students presented their work to their classmates. Before the class ended, we hung up all PSAs made in class outside the classroom. Now other students at Woodstock Elementary School can learn from their peers and experience humane education.
The Humaneness 101 team is very glad to see what the students have learned and achieved through humane education. We look forward to seeing their future growth to be solutionaires and advocates of a humane and sustainable world.