Kimmel Farm Students Respond to Japanese Tsunami

The biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began almost 150 years ago smashed into the country's northeast coast March 11th devastating the region and leaving destruction in its wake. The day after, first graders at Kimmel Farm were asking questions. Prompted by the canned food drive benefiting the Second Harvest Food Bank that Kimmel Farm took part in during the Thanksgiving season students wanted to know what they could do to help, and wanted to organize another canned food drive.
True to our school's theme first graders and fifth graders collaborated using problem based learning methodology to come up with a viable plan to help. Students in Mrs. Brodeur's first grade class and Mrs. Butler's fifth grade class wrote a real-time PBL lesson where students were told, "A devastating earthquake caused a tsunami to destroy northeast Japan leaving thousands of people unsettled and homeless. Your job is to come up with a list of possible ways we can help the people of Japan recover from this disaster."
Students worked in small groups to come up with a list of "need to knows," and "learning issues" and together came up with a list to present to our principal, Miss Weatherman, who looked at what ideas on the list would be appropriate. In the end, the students voted on their response.
Students made crafts like bookmarks, door hangers, lanyards, and origami creations and asked for donations for themed baskets all to sell at Kimmel Farm's May 2nd PTA Unit Meeting. Raffle tickets were sold for the baskets and the crafts were sold as well. At the end of the night the classes raised over $250 for the relief efforts.