Why combine literacy with environmental stewardship
The Environmental Stewardship unit incorporates many disciplines to teach literacy strategies. During the unit, my goal is that students understand that environmental stewardship requires being mindful of where resources come from, what we do with them, and why we need to conserve them. Moreover, I want learners to understand that being an environmental steward can occur at any age. While this is a literacy unit, evaluating natural resources and stewardship creates the foundation for a realistic application of approaches to literacy. “An integrated multidisciplinary approach is particularly important for elementary students because, as they strive to make sense of their world, young children’s thinking and understanding can become fragmented, poorly connected and even distorted. Experiences that connect and structure students’ understandings, counter naivete and misconceptions, and focus on implications for their daily lives” (McGuire & Cole, 2010, p. 6). Therefore, presenting the material from multiple disciplines not only establishes a deeper understanding about environmentalism, but also provides meaning and importance to the students’ work. As a result, through the lens of literacy, the assignments and projects are relevant and have real-life applications and demonstrate the connectivity and usefulness of each subject.