I wrestle a lot with how honest to be with 11 and 12 year olds about the world. I believe they should be aware of current events in a sensitive way that they can understand. I LOVE cnn.com/studentnews for providing that resource to my students in a fantastic 10 minute daily broadcast on the internet.
The travel projects I have designed talk about hotels, restaurants, plane flights, sights to see. But I haven't stressed hunger, literacy, crime in these cities with this project. I try not over politicize issues and I try to meet students where they are with their understanding.
An event that happened last week is very special . CNN featured a piece on a teenage girl from a rural part of Haiti that needs to walk half an hour each way twice a day to obtain fresh water for her family from a creek. She carries the water in a five gallon bucket on her head and complains of head and neck pain.
Students were so sympathetic and moved by her plight. We had a great discussion and they generated many possible helpful solutions. We discussed that clearly plumbing infrastructure would be ideal. Students wanted to buy and ship cases of water but we discussed short term and long term solutions.
They went home and each designed simple fixes that could at least help the teenager transport her water more easily. They are very excited about their inventions. (backpacks and various carts) I decided to compile the ideas into a short video and appeal to some corporations that might choose to sponsor our students with funds that could get them some materials to create and ship their ideas.
It is nice that the ideas organically sprung from the students and they are using critical thinking skills to solve a world problem. If you know of any organizations that may be interested in helping my students meet their goals of helping others, please let me know Hollyfoley23@gmail.com.
Feeling Hopeful about the upcoming generation of kind souls ~