What I did- I just finished teaching the students about earth conservation for earth day. Some of the topics included natural resources, reduce, reuse, recycle, greenhouse effect, carbon footprints, and organic farming.
After all topics were covered, I asked students to create a headline about earth day so I could see their thinking about such big issues.
Connect- By using this thinking routine I was really able to see how seriously they took the topic of earth conservation. Most students took from the unit that one person can make a difference, even if they start small.
Extend-We have taken an oath to never forget about doing our part to conserve our mother earth, every day! Not just on earth day. (We'll go the rest of the year w/o turning on the lights in the classroom. Some even said they will encoourage their 2nd grade teacher to do the same next year. Just think...if all teachers in all grades, in the whole school didn't turn on their lights!)
Challenge- Not all students were able to see the importance and I think it has a lot to do with habit and what they already have been exposed to.