(It’s not what you teach, but how you teach it)
Sometimes, the content of the lesson matters much less than the manner in which students work towards achieving their goal. In other words, it’s not the destination, but the journey that matters most. Students often get the most from the way a unit is presented. If you want to teach a commitment to social justice, model for students the kind of care and respect you want to cultivate. This can happen simultaneously to teaching any other content.
- Standard: Compare the standard of living in various countries today using gross domestic product per capita as an indicator. (SS 6.15 – E)
- How to Globalize: It’s certainly true that students need to understand the term GDP, but even more important in 6th grade is their ability to empathize with others. In teaching this standard, it’s more important to teach students multiple methods for assessing resources and needs of other countries, and then begin to think about strategies to do something about inequity.
- Sample Project: World Summit ~ This project had several components that were completed throughout an entire quarter. Students learned in depth about Guatemala, Peru, and Zambia, and created art depicting resources of these places. The art was sold at school as part of a fundraiser. In order to choose an organization that was most deserving of the funds, students researched NGOs that were doing development work. Each student gave a speech at the end of the quarter trying to persuade their classmates on where to donate the class funds.
- Learn More: Rubric, Introduction Letter, Research Organizer