September is Hunger Action Month and I am joining together with many other moms, educators, talented writers and bloggers to share various activities, ideas, children’s books, etc. with two goals: 1) create awareness about hunger and 2) to inspire others to get involved either in their own communities, through social media, or globally to raise awareness and/or funds to help end hunger. Read Moms Fighting Hunger 30/Sept/2012 to look at all of the ways individuals and families got involved last year. Here I share 7 great lesson plans to teach kids about hunger and food insecurity worldwide, available for free from the most involved non-profits around the world.
According to the UN’s World Food Programme, 870 million people in the world do not have enough to eat (1 in 8 people!). Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1 million children each year. If these staggering numbers are incomprehensible for adults, how is it possible to talk to elementary students about fighting hunger??
7 Lesson Plans to Teach your Kids about Hunger and Global Food Instability:
1. Heifer International offers a wonderful visual lesson about our nation’s resources. “When is Enough, Enough?” on page 5 of this pdf on Feeding 5000 uses cups of cereal demonstrate the basic resources of the Earth, who is consuming most of them, and who is left in poverty.
2. Look at the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO)’s Map of World Hunger. Choose a country that is red (more than 35% is malnourished) and research what factors contribute to the food instability. For example: drought, other natural disaster or environmental factor, political situation, war, famine, food shortages, etc.
3. Learn about food insecurity in Nigeria, India and Guatemala (and the US!) through the Pulitzer Center’s free lesson plans (pdf). Watch their videos, listen to the radio streams, use their post-video discussions and extension activities to explore hunger on a global and local level. Classes are encouraged to host an awareness event and even connect with the journalists via email, skype or in-school visits. What an amazing opportunity!
4. Host an OxFam Banquet, where a small percentage of students enjoy a lavish, abundant meal, some students have a decent meal with no extras, and a large group of students eat rice and drink water. OxFam offers a free toolkit for schools with discussion questions, promotional materials, and fact sheets.
5. Play the World Food Programme’s “Food Force: The only game where virtual good turns into real-world impact. Grow food, distribute it around the virtual globe, and change the lives of hungry children.” This on-line game is played through facebook, and has already been played by 10 million people! I am not a gamer, and was a little confused at first, but I think if parents and kids sit down together to play and discuss, there is a lot of learning potential.
6. Read Church World Services’ (CWS) “Hungry Decisions” story, about a man (or woman) trying to survive in a rural area of a developing area. The story is similar to the Choose Your Own Adventure books, in that every page ends with 2 choices; you must choose how the story continues by making the (sometimes) difficult decisions. There are lots of opportunities to discuss with your kids!
7. Use the lesson plans at Rice Bowls to teach your children about hunger in several interdisciplinary lessons. The free, downloadable lessons are broken into grade-level and subject matter, with with easy to follow descriptions.
Moms Fighting Hunger is a group of bloggers (see below) committed to raising awareness about hunger by sharing concrete ideas that get entire families involved, especially children. Everyday this month, a different blog will share what they are doing to help end hunger, and since it’s a blog hop, YOU can join in and link up what you are doing, too.
September 8: The Good Long Road and Kids Stuff World
September 9: Kid World Citizen
September 10: Inner Child Giving and San Antonio Mom Blogs
September 11: ButeauFull Chaos
September 12: Bits of Positivity
September 13: LatinoAmeriGringa
September 14: Your Sassy Self
September 15: Not Going Postal
September 16: All Done Monkey
September 17: Multicultural Kid Blogs
September 18: Pennies of Time
September 19: Coffee Cups and Crayons
September 20: Red White & Grew
September 21: MomitForward
September 23: Edventures with Kids
September 24: A Thrifty Diva
September 25: Crafty Moms Share
September 26: The Pleasantest Thing
September 27: Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails
September 28: Optimistic Heathen
September 29: Moments a Day
September 30: Kids Stuff World
On Twitter, follow @KidWorldCitizen, @NoKidHungry, @IndieJenFischer, @StacyofKSW and/or @MomsFightHunger for hunger action tweets that you can RT. On Pinterest, follow and repin from: Go Orange for No Kid Hungry, Moms Fighting Hunger and Be the Change.