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Global Famine Issue Exposed in English II

Pictured are sophomores Logan Ibele, Brandon Crotts and Tyler Rickman explaining how certain careers can aid in famine relief around the world.

On Thursday, February 23, students in Stacy Vickers’ English II class gave presentations on the problem of famine around the world. Students in Rhonda Hill’s English IV, Marie Coggin’s World History and Mariana Oprea’s Transition to adulthood classes visited stations that the English II students developed to address the problems associated with famine, to explain the countries that experience famine today, and to encourage participation in famine aid organizations, both locally and around the world.

Students began the project by researching poverty through a webquest and creating brochures about how different careers help with famine relief. They focused on careers in the medical field, agriculture, politics, anthropology, and community planning. The project focus then shifted to creating a powerpoint presentation that addressed specific countries: North Korea, India, Ethiopia and Niger.

Throughout the process, students used UCPS Google App’s to share documents and ideas with each other. With Google App’s as a resource, students could share information, ideas and documents with group members while at school and at home. Sophomore Hannah Barfield said, “The most helpful thing about Google Docs is being able to share information with the whole group at the same time. More gets accomplished.”

While reflecting on the project, students in the English II class realized how much they learned about famine. Sophomore Katelyn Cook said she learned that “famine relief organizations wait until people are dying to help.” Sophomore William Baynard discovered that people in India “are killing themselves because they can’t come up with enough money to support their families.” Finally, sophomore Anna Wylie said, “Most of the food in [North Korea] goes to the military” instead of to needy families.

As a class, students also had the opportunity to help the World Food Programme through its website freerice.com. Visitors to the site can answer trivia questions on a variety of subjects. For each correct answer, ten grains of rice are donated. The rice is collected to donate to famine- and poverty-stricken areas around the world.

Vickers discovered this project through the Intel Teach Program, which supports problem-based learning with the infusion of technology. The program’s website has projects for K-12 teachers within a variety of subject areas. For more information, go to the Intel Teach Program website.

Written by: Stacy Vickers, English Teacher
Posted: Mar 15, 2012 by Donna Helms

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