Tag Archives: activism

6 Words for the Environment: SOL22 Day 30

Today, March 30, 2022, marks the date of the Worldwide Teach In for Climate/Justice sponsored by Bard College. That is significant because as a writing project, we have spent time and energy this year looking for ways to implement climate teaching in a writing centric way.

With my young students, my approach to climate/justice teaching is to raise their awareness and appreciation of our planet, the people who live on it, the animals they already love, and also include some study of people making a difference (Jane Goodall came up through Scholastic News–so we inquired a bit further about her and her work) and about actions they can take as 6 and 7 year olds.

I have writing project colleagues who adapted the idea of a 6-word memoir into an opportunity for students to write 6 words for the environment. It seemed a perfect fit for a week of minimum days (to allow for parent conferences) just before Spring Break (which begins after school ends on Friday).

So, after they finished some amazing Poetry Is writing (check yesterday’s post for more details), we started to brainstorm words about the earth, about people and animals who live on the earth, and about actions people might take to protect the earth. They helped me write a few 6 word attempts before I sent them back to the their notebooks to write as many 6-words for the environment as they could in 7 minutes.

Then, they had to select their favorite of the 6-word statements they had written to feature on a mini poster. Some struggled to figure out which of their 6-word pieces to use (“They’re all good!” You’ve gotta love the confidence of first graders!) while others knew just what they wanted to write and draw on their poster. And even with phonetic spelling and some questionable counting of 6 words, they had important messages to share. Here’s a small sampling:

Pick up after yourself
Beautiful plants, beautiful earth, beautiful life
Please clean the planet, with others
Be green to save the Earth
I love our earth and sky

Building time to learn about and think about positive actions to protect our precious planet is essential to our longevity as a species. My students know they can make a difference and they are ready to do their part (and urge others to help out too).

Let’s not give in to doomsday thinking and instead cultivate a love for this incredible planet and everything and everyone who resides here. Together we can make a difference.

Buoyed: #litterati Day 16

Daily beach walks make me keenly aware of the ways that trash finds its way onto the beach. Straws and plastic wrappers are common, along with bottle caps and bits of aluminum from decomposing cans.  Sometimes I find more interesting bits of trash–plastic toys, sunglasses, pieces of surfboards and more.  Today I found an escaped boat bumper or buoy being tossed in the surf…and it became today’s poetry inspiration.

Taking a photo of trash and then disposing it properly is the habit of many camera wielding activists…the #litterati.  Small acts add up to a big difference.

buoyed litterati



Bobbing in the waves

an escaped boat bumper

heads toward shore


Styrofoam bullet


spreading harmful trash

in its wake


We can all help

one photo

and one piece of trash at a time



Douillard 2018

And a student photograph and poem…inspired by the palm tree that stands tall in the center of our playground:

tyler pineapple palm tree

A Pineapple Palm Tree

Way up high in the sky
A pineapple sits on a stem with leaves swaying every which way,

held high by the stem

about as wide as your hug and as high as the
Seagulls soaring above

a rainbow of thought to feed
Your imagination


Like photography, poetry offers new perspectives on ordinary objects and actions.  What can you see anew today?