Kindergarteners Building Community One Can At A Time

Deanna Pecaski McLennan

After having their pictures taken the children went on a tour of The Mission and learned about all the different services available to the community. They visited the kitchen and eating area and presented their decorated bags of food to the staff.

As the children left The Mission that day they were thanked again and again for being “hunger heroes” who had helped those in need. They had completed the cycle of social change - recognizing a need, engaging in action, and helping to solve the problem so quickly and effectively.

The next day The Windsor Star prominently featured a picture of the children arriving at The Mission, clutching their decorated bags close to their hearts. As this inquiry ended I wondered what big idea they would think of next. What lasting influence would they have on the community? True change is most effective when it continues to call others to action, over and over again. Our young kindergarten children became heroes. What would our community be inspired to do next?

To see this inquiry in action please visit our class blog at www.mrsmclennan.blogspot.ca or follow us on Twitter @McLennan1977. An iMovie connecting photos, videos and other artifacts of learning from this inquiry can be viewed at http://youtu.be/iMNgpJMkkgg.

This inquiry was specific to our class. We hope that by sharing it with Voice readers others will be inspired to conduct similar projects to help those in need within their communities and beyond.

Tips For Organizing A Food Drive

  1. Recognize a need in the community and discuss the problem with children in a comfortable format.
  2. Use mentor texts to build background knowledge and help children connect emotionally to the problem.
  3. Ask children for their ideas about how to help. What do they think needs to be done?
  4. Once a solution is generated, encourage children to think about how they can invite others in the school and greater community to help.
  5. Consider how and where the collected items will be stored. Will each class store their own donations or will all donations in the school be kept in a common area? How will the items be counted? Transported?
  6. Share what is happening with the greater community in order to inspire others to help and keep the positive cycle of change moving forward. Contribute to the school newsletter, contact local media, update on the class blog, etc.
  7. Once the drive is complete, consolidate learning by encouraging children to reflect upon the event and celebrate their achievement!

Deanna Pecaski McLennan is a member of the Greater Essex County Teacher Local. 


teachers sitting together at table with open textbooks in classroom

During the summer of 2006, as I was working through an AQ course, there was one question that I endlessly fretted over: how to initiate a p

kids sitting on floor in gymnasium

Karen Fisk is the full-time president of ETFO’s Hastings-Prince  Edward  Local.  Today  she’s known in her community not just as the head o