Path to Stewardship Lesson

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Students have an opportunity to self assess in the categories of embracing adventure, living and learning in community, helping the environment, and connection with place.  The assessment can then better guide learning for both the student and the instructor at IslandWood and beyond. 


Students will:

  •   Gain awareness of their current status within the four pillars
  • Learn about large concepts and understandings connected to stewardship
  • Explain how they can be stewards in their communities
  • Identify IslandWood experiences that can be done in their home communities
  • Explain how their thinking or behavior has been changed/influenced using evidence



  • Completion of the Path to Stewardship
  • Path Map completed with explanations & connections to the Path to Stewardship
  • Generation of ideas for how to be a steward in their own communities.

Age group: 4th-6th

Venue/s: Anywhere

Materials: Pathway to stewardship

Time: About 1 hour

Set up: N/A


The Lesson Plan

Hook/Elicit Ideas

  • Ask students think back to Monday afternoon Friendship Circle- What were the four rules/expectations talked about?
  • Ask them what they know about Stewardship and being a steward.

Introduction/Roll out

For more information about the theory of practice with the Pathway to Stewardship

This week students will work towards stewardship through the path(s) of the pillars of embracing adventure, living and learning in community, connecting with place, and helping the environment.  The Path to Stewardship is a tool that students can use to assess themselves and guide their understanding of their learning through the experiences they have at IslandWood and beyond.  The paths are not complete, but they are good places to start reflecting.  At the end of the week, you can ask students reassess themselves and give examples of experiences that may have created a shift or change in their behavior or thinking.

First Day (10-15 minutes)

  • Hand out the Paths to Stewardship
  • Give each student a pencil or marker that is the same color (example: all green, all blue)
  • Ask students to write their Name, Field Group, and School on the first page
  • Read the sections of the Path together out loud- ex: the four sections of the embracing adventure pillar
  • Ask students to circle the step the feel most represents them today.  Emphasize that there is not wrong or right answer.  Give them wait time to think about and select their answer.  
  • Repeat the process of reading together and selecting a spot on the path for the pillars that will be worked on during the week.  
  • Direct students to the section that says, "What evidence do I have that I took the next step?" Let them know that you'll ask them to answer that question on the last day. 

Day 2 and 3 (15-20 minutes)

  • At the beginning of the day, show students a paper with the 4 Pillars of IslandWood
  • Have students set goal(s) (for the day or the week or beyond) and write the goal(s) by the pillar most relevant to their goal(s)
  • As a team, share out personal goals and brainstorm ways the team can support one another to achieve them (note that this relates to Living and Learning in Community)
  • Revisit goals at the end of the day and/or week to assess student progress toward reaching their goal(s)
  • Extensions
    • Incorporate personal goals into the team challenge: Reach for Your Goals
    • Create collective team goal(s) for each pillar
    • 4 Pillars of IslandWood paper can be a quadrant, list, pie chart, incorporated into a community agreement in any orientation, and much more!

Final Day (45 minutes)

  • Show students the Path Map for the week.  Ask them if they would like to add any events to it. 
  • Once the Path Map is complete, give students the four pillars from the Path to Stewardship.  Ask students to assign a pillar(s) to each experience, lesson, activity on the Path Map.  For example: they might say that the community campfire was an example of embracing adventure because it took courage to perform in from of others.  
  • Once students have labeled everything on the Path Map, give them their personal Paths to Stewardship from the first day.  Now give them all a different color pencil or marker than the first day. 
  • Give them time to reassess themselves and ask them to include evidence for what helped them take the next step (or partial step).

As an example, here is a video in which an instructor rolls out the Path Map on the last day and explains the activity. The instructor talks about the four pillars of stewardship and explains the symbols the students will use to mark the Path Map, so that when they go to fill out their Paths to Stewardship, they will have examples of their evidence from the week to include.

Wrap up

  • Flip the Path Map over, and divide the back page into four quadrants- label one section embracing adventure, another living and learning in community, another connecting with place, and finally helping the environment.  This backside is the Stewards at Home section of the Path Map.  
  • Ask students to think of ways that they can achieve these ideas in their own communities, and add their suggestions to the stewards at home section of the Path Map.

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