Since September the Grade 6/7s have been connecting with the Senior Kindergarten children to support them in their research around sorting trash. This mentoring by the older children has wonderful benefits for both age groups. It is said, that success in life can be linked to one’s ability to work well with others. Encouraging this interaction has enabled the older children to develop empathy – “The ability to be able to understand and share the feelings of others”, and to place themselves in the place of the younger children who are just beginning to understand their role as “Protectors of the earth.’ For the younger children, it has been an opportunity to learn from those more knowledgeable than themselves.
The Grade 6/7s initially provided a workshop around the ideas of the ‘7 R’s’ – reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle, repair, rot and refuse.’ It was an opportunity for them to understand their audience, pace their presentation and design an interactive session for the Senior Kindergarten around the ‘7 R’s’. The younger children asked questions, and shared their current knowledge. A folder of photos of trash collected around the school was compiled, and sketches drawn of those items. The Senior Kindergarten felt that these should become part of a poster they wished to create. More research was required to analyze what other grades felt should also be reflected. An introduction to surveys and graphing by the Grade 6/7s was then presented. The children set off around the school to collect their data together.