Little by Little, a Little Becomes a Lot
5th Graders Spread Awareness About World Issues Through Project-Based Learning
April 11, 2023
Ms. Son and Ms. Morissette’s 5th-grade class shared their projects about human rights with other students, teachers, and administrators on March 10th. They created a variety of displays that provided heaps of information. Each exhibit had a unique flair to deliver important details about what they learned.
5th grader Joy said, “I made a city with clay and it showed to not discriminate. I did this because I thought that discriminating is really bad and that we should never do it. There is some discrimination going on in the world right now, so I wanted to tell DIS students that we shouldn’t discriminate.” Her diorama provided a tactile demonstration of injustice.
Some young scholars opted for media-based presentations. Olivia, also in 5th grade, added, “My project was a podcast talking about a variety of topics – for example, freedom of expression and rights to seek a safe place. It helps people see that there are different ways that human rights can be violated and how we can support it as a school and as students.”
The demonstrations provided knowledge on philosophy of human rights and how the kids connected to the topic that they chose. Ms. Morissette said, “First, we learned about all of human rights, and, as we were learning, we were focusing on what we were interested in. Students were taking notes of what they wanted to explore further, then we also thought of what we loved. There’s always a connection between what we are passionate about and things like human rights.”
Many students believe that they’re taking a first step to making big changes. Noah, an 8th grader, said, “I listened to a presentation about World War 2 and learned more information that I didn’t know before. The information was really impactful to me, and I believe that this is a step at making a difference in the world.”
The class understood the seriousness of the matter and empathized with the victims of the issue. Joy said, “Discrimination is something that we shouldn’t do to other people and especially to the people that have different skin colors. They might feel really bad because it’s how they were born. We are saying that they are different and treating them differently because they are different from us. I showed them how it can be bad for other people to get discriminated against and how that can go against human rights.”
Following the footsteps of last year’s 5th graders, elementary students showed their efforts to spread awareness on human right cautions. Ms. Morissette said, “For each year, it is always going to be a little different because the students have the choice in how they want to show the information and how they connect it to the real world.”
With their presentations, the upper elementary kids learned meaningful lessons through their research and gained memorable experiences. Ayelet in 5th grade said, “If people do kind things to others, then those people will do kind things to others.”