What's the Difference?

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

Students will examine lifestyles of people in selected countries and compare their findings to American lifestyles.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo or Three Sixty-Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The leaner will:

  • compare and contrast the living conditions in a selected country with the conditions in the United States.
Materials 
  • Research texts or materials
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Student copies of Research Guide (Attachment One)
  • Selected narratives and letters from Peace Corps volunteersThese can be found at the Peace Corps Web site listed in the bibliography.
  • Scoring Guide (Attachment Two)
Bibliography 

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask students to reflect on the information they gathered in the previous lesson.

  2. Instruct students to select one of the countries they used for the map in the previous lesson. Tell the class that they are going to find out more about the country and the conditions under which people live. Students will also be expected to indicate the involvement of outside agencies in the country. These could be human rights groups, relief groups, or health organizations that are attempting to aid the people in the country.

  3. Using atlases, almanacs, textbooks, encyclopedias (print or electronic), and the Internet, ask students to research the country they selected. Use Research Guide (Attachment One) and Scoring Guide (Attachment Two) to help students understand what their work should contain.

  4. Distribute copies of narratives and letters of Peace Corps volunteers. (Note: This information can be found at the Peace Corps Web site [see Bibliographical References]. They are fairly short but very informative.) Ask students to form small groups of three and share the information they read. From each group, select one student to share their reading by speaking to the class in the first person. Allow a couple of minutes for the students to prepare this portion. Teachers may wish to take volunteers for this portion of the lesson.

  5. Students will add the information from the Peace Corp readings to the information they have collected.

  6. Have students write a narrative comparing and contrasting lifestyle, government, and economy of their selected country with that of the United States. Describe human rights groups trying to work on behalf of the people and compare both countries. Are any of the groups the same?

Assessment 

Use Scoring Guide (Attachment Two) to evaluate student writing.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Identify civil society organizations that protect and speak for minority viewpoints.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.9 Identify pro-social behavior in different cultures and traditions.