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Students in Snow Camp get a fun, creative lesson on recycling for Global Maker’s Day

What's Right with Our Schools

SNOW CAMP, N.C. (WGHP) — There are good books. And there are good books whose words you can put into action.

That’s what happened in Heather Whitley’s fifth grade class at Sylvan Elementary. Her students read the book, “One Plastic Bag” by Isatou Ceesay.

“One Plastic Bag” is about how a girl in Africa started a recycling program by turning plastic bags into usable items like bracelets and wallets.

Fifth grade teacher Heather Whitley says it is a perfect lesson for Global Maker’s Day. “This day is about creating and using the four C’s. And that’s where they critically think, they work with partners, they problem-solve. And then therefore they come up with different activities and different types of pieces of art. There is no right or wrong. It’s their creation. So the little key, the jump was you can make a bracelet and then they jumped to make rings, and then they added different types of things. So each project is independent and their own.”

She watched as the students’ creativity blossomed. “It was really fun because I get to show how colorful I am with using all these colors on these bracelets,” Kennedy Green, a student, said.

Some ideas worked and some didn’t, which Chris Perez says was a lesson in itself. “Because if you messed up, you could just make it into something else. I messed up on this bracelet and then I just used different pieces to make another one,” he said.

There were other lessons as well. “We were able to cover science,  reading,” Whitley said. “They had to get them up with math because of the patterns that they were creating. So it was one of the total projects that worked through the whole thing. And one of the other things is Sylvan is an A-plus school, we’re an art school. So whenever we can integrate and incorporate art and an art lesson that comes back to content where we like to do that, because we tend to think that the kids get a deeper understanding, really enjoy it.”

Maybe the best lesson of all was simply making an effort to help save the Earth. “This is important because some places have plastic bags everywhere. And I think this might help some people learn how to save the environment. And recycle more,” said Green.

Her classmate Aubrie Brooks agrees. “So you can learn different ways how to use things that you would never really think about, and you can get more creative and so if you found something on the street, you could take it and do it with what we learned here today.”

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