Making a Difference in World Health

Grades: 
3, 4, 5

Students recognize examples of food waste and understand that waste has an impact beyond themselves. They learn that many people in the world do not have the choice of what to eat due to food insecurity. They read about a girl in Uganda whose hungry family received the gift of a goat through Heifer International. Students will brainstorm some ways that they can address local and global food insecurity and take action.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintOne 45-Minute Session, plus time to carry out a service project
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • identify personal food waste and reflect on its impact.
  • relate Beatrice's experience with poverty to his or her own ability to help.
  • plan and implement a service project to address food insecurity.
Materials 
  • a read-aloud copy of Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier
  • chart paper and markers for compare and contrast discussion
Vocabulary 
  • food insecurity: the risk or fear of not having consistent access to food that meets people's dietary needs and food preferences; not being sure one will have enough food or the right food to feel full, grow, and be healthy 
  • resources: available supply or support that can be drawn on when needed or wanted
  • scarcity: the lack of a resource, such as money, food, education, or housing
  • opportunity cost: the next best alternative that must be given up when a choice is made about using scarce resources

 

Reflection 
  • When we make careful choices about the food we eat and do not waste, what difference does it make in the world?
  • What personal choices can make a difference to the whole world?
  • Is there food waste in our community that could be put to better use? 
  • Did our service project make a difference for the health of the world?
Bibliography 

Feeding America: Scroll over the different states to see their hunger statistics and compare http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-studies/map-the-meal-gap.aspx

FreeRice.com: Practice basic skills while earning rice for hungry people worldwide: www.freerice.com

Heifer International: A nonprofit that provides livestock and training to families in need. http://www.heifer.org/

McBrier, Page. Beatrice's Goat. Aladdin, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0689869907

USDA “My Plate” A visual diagram of our nation’s current dietary suggestions. http://www.choosemyplate.gov/

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Ask students to raise their hands if they have ever eaten half of their food in their lunch and then thrown the rest away. Ask students that raised their hands why they threw the food away (not hungry, didn't like the food, wanted to go out and play). Discuss ways we waste food (leftovers don't get eaten, food goes bad, we get tired of or don't like a certain food). Ask, "When you threw that food away, were you pretty sure at the time that more food would be available before you got too hungry?" Tell students that one out of seven people in the world are not sure that more food will be available when they are hungry.

  2. Show the cover of the book Beatrice's Goat and tell students you are going to read a true story about a girl named Beatrice who experienced food insecurity. Many days, all she ate was one meal of potatoes and casava. Let students know that her family also did not have the money to send her to school, and she was going to grow up illiterate, like many girls in her village, but a goat changed her life.

  3. Find Uganda, where Beatrice lives, on the world map. Note that she lives on the west side of Uganda in a village called Kisinga.

  4. Read aloud the book Beatrice’s Goat. Stop periodically as you read to ask students how Beatrice is like them and different from them. Use a comparison chart.

  5. After reading the story, ask students to reflect on these questions:

    • What food group was added to Beatrice’s diet after her family received the goat?
    • How did the goat bring about positive change for Beatrice, her family, and the village? Did this additional resource bring a change in health, education, housing, or income?
  6. Say, “Beatrice had to make careful choices with her limited resources so she could get her basic needs met.” Discuss whether Beatrice has the choice to be wasteful. Discuss what students feel are limited resources in their lives. Discuss what resources (time, talent, and treasure) they feel they have enough of and are able to share with others.

  7. Ask students if they want to address food insecurity, either locally or globally, by giving their time, talent and/or resources through a service project. Remind them that they have scarce resources and this choice to help will also have an opportunity cost. Reinforce their understanding of both terms. The decision to address food insecurity should come from the children as much as possible – it needs to be an internally generated concept to truly take hold.

  8. Give students options for local food-relief projects: they may help deliver food, sort food at a food pantry, write letters or advertise for a local charity, or hold a collection drive. Explain how they can raise money in support of the organization or hold a food collection for people in need. Since these students are too young to raise their own money or hold an independent food collection, focus your efforts on educating the students about recruiting their parents, older siblings, and teachers to help them in their efforts.

  9. Share information with them about Heifer International, the organization that gave Beatrice’s family the goat. Heifer International uses money that is donated by philanthropists (people who give time, talent or treasure for the common good). Children may choose to raise money to purchase an animal for a family through Heifer International. They may create a product or service to sell, hold an event that requires admission, or solicit donations from their parents, family friends, and older siblings. http://www.heifer.org/

  10. Help students investigate their options and make a plan to carry out a service project. Help them gather materials or obtain the skills needed. Be sure to build in time for reflection throughout the planning and implementation of the service.

Cross Curriculum 

Students address a food insecurity issue through a service project. Food-relief projects include delivering food to and sorting food at a food pantry. They may write letters or advertise for a local charity or hold a collection drive. They can raise money in support of the organization or hold a food collection for people in need. They may choose to raise money to purchase an animal for a family through Heifer International, the organization that gave Beatrice’s family the goat. Heifer International uses money that is donated to provide livestock and training to families in need. View the Heifer website at http://www.heifer.org/. The decision to address food insecurity should come from the children as much as possible – it needs to be an internally generated concept to truly take hold. Your group may decide to do more than one service project.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.2 Explain the difference between wants and needs.
      2. Benchmark E.5 Recognize that volunteering requires freedom of choice.
    2. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark E.3 Give examples of <i>opportunity cost</i> in philanthropic giving.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark E.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark E.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities, and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.
      2. Benchmark E.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
    4. Standard VS 04. Raising Private Resources
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a service plan.