SPOTLIGHT ON PBL: CALIFORNIA INDIANS CARETAKERS OF THE LAND PBL UNIT

Posted by Ellen Kraska on 3/7/2021

California Indians: Caretakers of the Land PBL Unit
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Photo credit: Courtesy of oneword.earth
 
Last week, I joined some fourth grade students for a viewing of the film One Word Sawalmem and a Question/Answer session with the film's Director, Michael "Pom" Preston. Sawalmem means "sacred water" and Pom is a Winnemem Wintu tribe member from Mt. Shasta. He co-directed, produced and appeared in the film to spread awareness about the human impact on the natural water systems in Northern California and the salmon population. It was powerful for our students to watch the film with him, to learn from his experience and to hear about his work with Run4Salmon.org.
 
Mrs. Whiteley (Fourth Grade teacher) had the following to say about the PBL Unit:
"Fourth graders have been hard at work identifying California's environmental imbalances, and have been learning from and working with members of the Winnemem Wintu tribe to restore balance as part of the California Indians: Caretakers of the Land PBL Unit. Students shared their action plans with Pom to get his feedback, and asked him questions about what the Winnemem Wintu are doing to bring back the Chinook Salmon. Students were beaming with pride after receiving feedback and kudos from Pom!"
 
Kudos and shout out to the fourth grade teacher team for this meaningful, authentic and real-world Project Based Learning experience! Wow!