I explain to my students that this is the first of a 3 day lesson on prevalent issues that children of today face around the world. We begin the lesson by me asking students to write down 3 issues that children of today face. The issues can be issues that children anywhere in the world face. We, then, share whole group what some of them wrote. Students listed things such as gangs, child abuse, obesity, peer pressure, homelessness, and hunger as issues children around the world are facing today. I explain to students that we are going to research other issues facing children and along with the issues they listed and brainstorm possible solutions to these problems.
For the next portion of the lesson, I provide students with a Problem/Solution T-chart graphic organizer and divide them into small groups to use the computers to research other issues facing children of today and brainstorm possible solutions. In order to facilitate time on task, I assign roles to the students in each group - facilitator, presenter, time keeper, recorder. The facilitator will lead the computer research and brainstorming session. The recorder will complete the Problem/Solution T-chart. The time keeper will keep track of the time. The presenter will present the information when we come back together as a whole group.
When we cam back together to share our problems and solutions as a whole group, students had added things such as bullying, death of loved ones, lack of education, childhood diseases and illnesses to their lists. As possible solutions to some of the issues we listed, my students said students who bully could be educated about the negative effects of bullying and the former bullies could be made into student leaders. In order to cope with deaths of loved ones, kids could go through grief counseling with the guidance counselor. To stem the tide of a lack of education for children, more schools could be built around the world. To help end childhood diseases and illnesses, more children's research hospitals could be built.
To close the lesson, I had students to complete an exit slip which listed 3 things they learned today, 2 things they still want to know, and 1 question they still have. Some of the student responses included students learning about the many issues children around the world are facing. Students still want to know why we still have hunger in the world when people throw away so much food. One student brought up the fact that we have a food program at our school which provides breakfast and afternoon snacks for students, but whatever the students don't eat must be thrown away. The student said this seems like such a waste. It seems like the leftover food could be saved for another day.
Be sure to click here to continue the lesson with the next lesson - Draft of Culminating Writing Assessment on Prevalent Issues Affecting Children. (see link in list of resources)