“How to Survive a Natural Disaster” Grade 7 Integration Week
Integration projects encourage students to reach across subjects and synthesize ideas. By pulling knowledge from Math, Geography, English, Science and Outdoor Education experiences, Grade 7 students got a clearer picture of how what they’re learning is relevant to the real world.
The theme of Grade 7 Integration Week was “How to Survive a Natural Disaster.” Leading into the project, each student read a novel by Canadian author Eric Walters, who writes on the theme of survival. Walters also visited Greenwood during the week to speak to students about the inspiration behind his stories and what it takes to survive disaster; an example is Safe Houses, which was inspired by flooding in Toronto caused by Hurricane Hazel. The author’s visit encouraged students to really think deeply about their work during Integration Week.
Throughout the week, students completed activities that helped them to integrate their knowledge from multiple subjects. For example, students were asked the following question: “What equipment would you take to help people who have been affected by a natural disaster?” Students used their Outdoor Education experience to determine which survival items would be most important. Then, they used math equations to calculate the weight and volume of a backpack containing all of those items (and ensure that it was under the preset volume limit).
For their final project, students worked in teams to build a tool they thought would be useful during a natural disaster. This challenge required drawing on concepts they learned in class. For example, students applied their learning about heat, insulation, and distillation from science class to the challenge of how disaster survivors could cook food, keep warm, and purify water. The final projects included stoves, shelters, rafts, water purifiers and more.
By approaching one challenge from so many angles, students learned the best way to tackle multi-disciplinary problems in the future. They also gained experience in applying strategies from one subject to solve challenges in another. This will help them be more agile, adaptable learners - skills so crucial for lifelong learning.