"Never doubt that a small group of committed citizens can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has." -Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead's famous quote was on the forefront of seventh graders minds as they participated in Global Citizens Week from March 12 - 15. The entire seventh grade engaged in a variety of activities and conversations designed to foster a better understanding of the world and their place in it. The ultimate goals of the week were to encourage students to think beyond themselves, to heighten students' awareness of global issues, to inspire students to view themselves as global citizens, and to empower students to take action in both local and global communities.
The week began with an experiential learning activity known as "Breakfast Around the World." Each student was randomly assigned a country and then served a breakfast that reflected that country's struggle with hunger. Students in the 1% enjoyed a bountiful breakfast filled with more food than they could possibly eat. Students in food secure countries were served a nutritious, filling breakfast, while students assigned nations suffering from higher levels of hunger looked on, waiting to be served a paltry meal of a half cup of Cheerios. After breakfast, students gathered for a reflection, sharing the thoughts and feelings that the experience sparked.
While students engaged in other lessons about The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Haiti, global and local hunger were the primary focus of the week. After examining the many causes of hunger, they ended the week with The Shopping Experience. The simulation activity required students to attempt to feed a family of three for a week on only $35. Before leaving for a local grocery store, students devised lists of possible foods that could be used to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With only 30 minutes to shop, students realized they'd have to make hard decisions about just what types of food they could afford. All of the food purchased for the Shopping Experience was donated to the Community Crisis Center of Reisterstown.
After spending the week examining the hardships that people all over the world face, the seventh grade will now discuss ideas for future grade-wide service and education projects.