Out of Group Four’s geography curriculum, the class started discussing the distribution of population, wealth, and food around the world.
In an activity shared by Group 1 teacher, Kailea Switzer, the class was given 100 bingo pieces, 100 pennies, and 100 paper clips. The bingo pieces represented people, the pennies wealth, and the paper clips food. The children worked together, distributing items on each continent to represent their guess of how the world’s population, wealth, and food access was globally distributed. After they shared their guesses, we rearranged the pieces to accurately represent this distribution. The students were shocked to see the disproportionation of wealth and food available to countries with larger populations compared to the excess of resources for smaller ones.
We discussed how the world got this way and what we felt we could do to help. Some of the ideas were to send money to people in need. However, with the guidance of Nnenna Nwachuku, the class engaged in discussions regarding the cycle of poverty and what can be done to break it. The class was very interested in access to clean water. They were upset to learn that many children their age spent their days collecting water rather than going to school.
After brainstorming, they decided to raise money for a hand pump that would provide clean water to a village. As Valentine’s Day approached the class chose to celebrate the day by hosting a bake sale to raise money for the pump. As part of this service learning activity, the homework assignments that week included baking items for the sale and determining a reasonable price for their goods.
On the day of sale, the children were in charge of the entire process, from set up to cashiering and money counting and raised $596! The children felt great satisfaction in seeing this project through from beginning to end.