Friday, April 13, 2012

Rainforest Ethics

I think Ethics is my favorite of all the icons. And I think the kids are really starting to understand it. We were reading Charlotte's Web and when she saves the pig in the beginning of the story (Just FYI-I edit a little bit during our read-aloud to say they were giving him away-I leave out the part about the ax). The father says Fern was trying to "rid the world of injustice" by saving Wilbur. I had to explain to the kids what injustice was, and right away one of the students said "that sounds like ethics". Yep, ethics comes into play a lot when you start talking about courts and justice. I am excited that they are beginning to apply the concept more readily now.

But I digress. We have been doing a unit on rainforests and I think the easy answer is to say cutting down the rainforests is wrong-- most people don't have to be tree-huggers to take that side. So I assigned 1/2 my class to write about how it's right, as a bigger challenge. I love some of the answers they came up with.

....because there is no boss in the rainforest.

It's ok for dangerous animals to be dead forever.

A future lawyer here :) she sees both sides of the argument.

Because we don't live there.

Wrong because people like to go to the rainforest.

Wrong because plants and animals live there.
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  1. How do you push them to think more and write more? I always have a few kids who just say Cutting down trees is bad because trees are nice. Not such deep thinking.

  2. It's something that I model, model, model. Even if we do a writing exercise I cover the names and share examples of kiddos who did come up with a deep answer. I also act like the kids and keep asking "why". It's bad to cut down trees. Why? Because trees are nice. Why? Why should we have trees instead of wood to make paper? I play devil's advocate A LOT! :)