Keeping it Green!

One of the many things I enjoy about working with kids is the things they say! Funny, inspiring, revealing, insightful – they say it all!  Until Rapid Prompting Method, I had many clients who could not share their thoughts, comments and observations of the world. William is an almost 11 year old. He is wiggly, funny, serious, super affectionate and has a smile that is positively infectious! William began RPM in December 2013. It has been such a pleasure to watch his skills develop over the last 6 months. We started with choices on paper, spelling single words, answering questions of increasing complexity and now we are working on expanding the length of responses in “creative writing” (all spelled on the letter board). Every week, it delights me to see more and more of William’s personality revealed through his newly expressed words! I absolutely loved his responses and his clever ideas to keep our planet green in this RPM lesson about Earth Day! (Note: The lesson is presented in regular font, William’s responses are in all caps and my comments or off the cuff questions are in italics.)



Earth Day

Each year, April 22 celebrates Earth Day to recognize and combat environmental concerns. United States Senator Gaylord Nelson first introduced the idea of Earth Day after witnessing the aftermath of a 1969 oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The 1970’s were the height of the hippie, flower-child culture that used protest, art and literature to send messages of peace and love. Senator Nelson imagined that the same energy could be used to advocate for environmental consciousness. With this, Senator Nelson introduced an idea for a “national teach-in on the environment.”

On what day to we celebrate Earth Day each year? APRIL 22

What type of catastrophe inspired Senator Nelson to found Earth Day? OIL SPILL

What idea did Senator Nelson introduce for the first Earth Day? TEACH IN

In response to the first Earth Day celebration, over 20 million Americans took an environmental message to the streets, parks and airways. The first Earth Day celebration also inspired creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts. The Clean Air act helps to solve air pollution issues with science and technology. The Clean Water act is best known for preventing businesses from dumping pollutants into common waters. The Endangered Species act provides protection for plants and animals and the habitats in which they are found.

What famous federal agency was created after Earth Day took off? ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

Name one Act, or law, that was inspired by Earth Day conservation? CLEAN WATER ACT. What is the Clean Water Act best known for? STOP WATER POLLUTION

As the 20th anniversary of Earth Day approached in 1990, the event went global.  Over 200 million people in 141 countries participated in events focused on environmental awareness and conservation. In 1995 President Bill Clinton awarded Senator Nelson the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his role as Earth Day founder. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is the highest honor given to civilians in the United States.

How many people participated in Earth Day in 1990? 200 MILLION

What award did Senator Nelson receive when he was recognized as the founder of Earth Day? PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL OF FREEDOM

As Earth Day approached its 40th anniversary in 2010 it faced as much challenge as it did celebration. Many deny that climate change is happening, businesses pay lobbyists to fight environmental legislation and the public tends to become disinterested in high profile topics over time. To reinvigorate Earth Day, the Earth Day Network established a 2012 goal of A Billion Acts of Green to build a clean, healthy world for generations to come.

What did the Earth Day Network do to reinvigorate Earth Day in 2012? BILLION ACTS OF GREEN

A Billion Acts of Green offers several suggestions to protect the planet and help improve our communities. Examples include simple recycling of plastic, metals and paper; composting excess food to return it’s properties to useable soil; support renewable, sustainable energies like solar and wind power; unplug electrical devices when they are not in use; end junk mail; and openly support politicians that stand up for the environment with letters of support and discussion in your community.

CREATIVE WRITING: A Billion Acts of Green offers several suggestions on how to protect the planet and improve communities. How would you like to participate in Earth Day this year? If you had unlimited resources, time and manpower how would you want to celebrate in environmental conservation in the future?


Brilliant!  If only I had the time and capital to develop the fantastic ideas my kids share with me the world would certainly be a bit more beautiful! ~Elizabeth


4 thoughts on “Keeping it Green!

  1. It should be noted that the way Elizabeth Vosseller conducts these sessions, she reads the curricular material out loud and then asks the questions verbally. That means the kids are not just looking at words and picking out answers: they are remembering the specifics and spelling their answers one letter at a time.

    If you were to watch the kids while she’s reading the material, you might thinking they seem not to be paying attention. Their eyes may run all around the room, their heads turn away and around, they move their arms and hands. That may have much to do with how they are treated in conventional educational settings: the stimuli that teachers present may be determined more by the feedback of their movements than by what they are absorbing inside their minds. (That’s something you might know only if you ask them!)

    If creativity is fed by unusual perspectives, then it should come as no surprise that these kids seem to have that bottled up inside them and ready to gush out when someone bothers to loosen their caps!

    • Very nice point! One of the many things that RPM has taught me is that “paying attention” for my clients does rarely looks like what most people associate with “listening” behavior. More often than not, my clients are doing exactly what you describe – looking all around the room, wiggling, stimming, humming, fidgeting – but they never miss a word!

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