Thursday, February 7, 2013

Teaching Thursday: Meet Kate


It's been a while since I've done a Teaching Thursday Post, and this one might be a little bit of a stretch, but I think that you will see how it all ties in.  I feel like one of our jobs as teachers is to teach our students about social issues that affect children just like them.  By teaching them these lessons, that might not necessarily be a part of the curriculum, or the Common Core standards, we are teaching them to be better citizens of their community and of the world.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I am a Social Media Ambassador for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern Carolina.  Recently, they have launched the Hungry Kate campaign.  This new campaign puts a face and a name to hunger, and makes it easy to relate to, especially for children.  Take 2 minutes and watch this video, and meet Kate.

This video is specific to Central & Eastern, NC, but I have seen a Feeding America version of the video that covers the same thing, from a national perspective.  What I love about the video is that it shows children that hungry children can be right in their own classrooms.  It shows them that children do not make the choice to go hungry, and that there are often circumstances that force families to make very difficult decisions.  

Since I got the email that this campaign was coming out, I've watched this video about 30 times. Something about it just moves me. There are things that we can do.  The teacher in me immediately thought of how I could use this in a classroom setting.  How could this 2 minute video, and the whole idea of "Kate" compel students to get involved.  Luckily, the Food Bank has some great resources on their website available for educators and parents.  There are ideas for using this in a whole group setting, and for using it with your family.  (Just click on the "Learn" link on their website to find all of the resources)

As I said before, sometimes teaching things that aren't pulled straight from the standards is important, but I know that teachers struggle to find ways to make sure that they are covering all of the standards, so sometimes, things like this fall by the wayside.  So, I went looking in the North Carolina Essential Standards for Social Studies to see where this could fit in.  Here are the standards that you can use for K-5:

Kindergarten
K.H.1.3 Explain the impact of how life events bring change (a new sibling, moving to a new house, a new job, a new school, etc.).
K.E.1.1 Explain how families have needs and wants.
K.E.1.2 Explain how jobs help people meet their needs and wants.

1st Grade
1.E.1.2 Identify examples of goods and services in the home, school and community.
1.E.1.3 Explain how supply and demand affects the choices families and communities make.

2nd Grade
2.E.1.5 Explain how money is used for saving, spending, borrowing and giving.
2.C&G.2.2 Explain why it is important for citizens to participate in their community.

3rd Grade
3.C&G.2.1 Exemplify how citizens contribute politically, socially and economically to their community.

4th Grade
4.E.2.1 Explain how personal financial decisions such as spending, saving and paying taxes can positively and/or negatively affect everyday life.
4.E.2.2 Explain how scarcity of personal financial resources affects the choices people make based on their wants and needs.

5th Grade
5.E.2.1 Explain the importance of developing a basic budget for spending and saving.
5.E.2.2 Evaluate the costs and benefits of spending, borrowing and saving.  

It is easy to fit the social issue of hunger into all of these standards. You could also incorporate writing activities, using the Conversation Starters that the Food Bank has provided.  I have so many ideas swirling around in my head right now of ways that you can use the Kate campaign in the classroom.  I decided to see if there were some children's books that you could incorporate to help your students understand the hunger problem more.  I came across this list from Lasso the Moon and another list from fellow Social Media Ambassador, Greg.  Some of the books on the two lists are the same, but some are different. 

In Middle and High Schools, this would be a great project for clubs and organizations, such as Honor Societies or Beta Clubs to tackle.  They could hold food drives or even volunteer their time at the Food Bank.  The opportunities to help are endless. 

I feel that it is important that we begin teaching children at an early age to get involved in their community.  If they become a part of the solution early on, then maybe the problem will become smaller and smaller over time. I hope that you will share Kate's story with everyone that you know.  Unfortunately, Kate's story is the story of way too many children in our country.  Do you have other ideas of how you can use the Hungry Kate campaign in the classroom?  Leave them in the comments below! 

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