Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Thanksgiving THINKING: "Got a real problem?"

EQ: Do we have an "attitude of gratitude?"   
EQ: Are we blessed, or distressed? 

EQ: How do our personal issues stack-up against issues in the news? Are these issues being addressed?

Let's face it.  We live in a world of issues, problems, disease, distress and... blessings. 
Our students, children, and family often live in either a blessed-bubble or a world of trouble. I am amazed at how often students who are from "blessed" families, embrace an attitude of oppression, while others from less fortunate situations seem optimistic despite their struggles.  

Here's an Inquiry-based lesson to challenge students to overcome struggles or over-look slight "first world problems."  My former library aide used to tell students, "You need to get a real problem." Kids would laugh and get it. Sometimes we just have to call a spade a spade. 

Activate thinking:  

  • Give each student 3 Post-it notes and ask them to write their three biggest problems--one on each note.
  • Using a bulletin board or wall, ask students to post their "problems" anonymously under the appropriate heading: "Problems" or  "Perceived Problems" 
Connect to the real world: 
  • Ask students to find articles in the newspapers of real-world issues...pictures, headlines, articles, and other items can serve as real-world connections.  
  • Post the pictures, articles, and other fodder on the board next to their "problems." 
Discuss and question: 

  • Discuss "perspective" 
  • Brainstorm questions for research 
  • Ask students to choose a "real-world issue" - Or, perhaps connect to their reading choices asking students to choose an "issue" that might be within the book.  
  • Taking the brainstormed-questions (wonder), students can look for evidence to support their thinking.
  • Students should research their "issue" to make an Evidence-based Claim (EBC) as to why this is a problem needing to be addressed, seriously. 
  • Ask students to open their "claim" with a juxtapose comment about their "issue" compared to a real one, or acknowledging that a problem they are dealing with is a real-world issue.    
Share Knowledge - and advocate: 
  • Give the opportunity for students to "create" a poster, ePoster (Smore), technology communication product, or to create a campaign, advocate, raise money, etc... for a cause of their choice. 
  • One goal of the new C3 standards is to compel students to civil action. Let's allow them to change the world. 

If you are a librarian and don't have scheduled classes, consider collaborating with an ELA teacher, or Social Studies teacher, embarking on this learning adventure before Thanksgiving.  Let's try to challenge our students to identify real-world issues or perceived -- First world problems vs. Third World problems. 

Image: Desktop snapshot from Google image search "homeless famine"  

Post an image of your "wall" below, if you do this lesson. Thanks!  

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