Sharing The Plant

Global schools present exhibitions

C.J. Morris fifth graders took to the stage to present impressive I.B. Exhibitions on May 14.

C.J. Morris fifth graders took to the stage to present impressive I.B. Exhibitions on May 14.

By Kelli Gile

Walnut – This month, Castle Rock and C.J. Morris elementary schools invited parents and community members to “Sharing the Planet” International Baccalaureate (I.B.) Exhibitions.  Fifth graders, in their final year of the I.B. Primary Years Programs, carry out collaborative inquiry projects on global issues.

“Students identify, investigate, and offer solutions to real-life issues,” said I.B. coordinator Kelly Howard.

A C.J. Morris showcase, held on May 14, focused on animal abuse, child hunger, women’s rights in India, leukemia, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, and more.  During the exhibitions, students demonstrated their understanding of the key I.B. elements: knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and action.  They worked for eight weeks in preparation of the special learning celebration.  Each presentation included a technology component of a PowerPoint, Prezi, video, or website.  Many groups acted out skits or debated the pros and cons of their subject.

“We learned a lot!” said Hemza Sakr, 11.

Students plan the exhibitions, gather materials, record and reflect, and finally present the exhibition to the school community.  Students also fielded questions from the audience members.  The well-prepared youngsters stood poised on the stage, ready to share their expertise on the topics.

A C.J. Morris group focused on child hunger for their project.

“The biggest thing I learned is that hunger is everywhere,” said Zain Haideri, 11. “But, there’s more help in California and the U.S., than in Africa.”

Groups also offered action plans for their global issues.

“People can help by going to the website,” said Isabella Marine. “For every answer you get correct, they donate 10 grains of rice to a person that’s hungry.”

C.J. Morris groups sold art pieces during the exhibition to benefit World Vision, Anti-Cruelty Society, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Castle Rock 5th Graders presented an impressive I.B. Exhibition on May 21, with information on 17 topics including global warming, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and vaccines.

“We all like alternative energy over fossil fuels, but for the debate we supported both sides,” explained student Mica Lin.

The water scarcity group talked about the millions of people who struggle each day to get water.

The women’s rights team took action with a bake sale that raised $224 for a non-profit organization.

The global warming group promoted “Walk to School Wednesday” on posters displayed at the school.

Parents learned more about topics during a question and answer session.

“This is very impressive!” said parent Simon Lu. “They put a lot of effort into it. I think working as a team is probably the most valuable of all,” he added.

Students were eager to show their passion for making a difference.

“We picked our topic because we’re in a drought and it’s been in the news,” explained Nathanial Liu-Sustayta from the water scarcity group.

Students were quick to offer simple water-saving tips.

“You can do full loads of laundry,” said Jacob Moskovitz.

“You can switch to low-flow toilets,” Liu-Sustayta added.

“We were surprised it affected so many people,” said Isabella Lisak, from the ‘buddies not bullies’ group.

The members performed a skit and created a website to bring awareness.