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Students Collaborate to Teach Peers About Famine in the World

Before winter break, students in Sarah Johnson’s, Samantha Quinn’s and Stacy Vickers’ first block English 10 classes gave presentations on the problem of famine around the world. Students in Marie Coggins’, Keyonu Rivera’s, Mariana Oprea’s, and Tiffany Speck’s first block classes visited stations that the English 10 students created to address problems associated with famine, to explain the reasons why countries experience famine today, and to encourage participation in famine aid organizations, both locally and around the world.

While reflecting on the project, students in the English 10 classes realized how much they learned about famine, research skills and teamwork. Harry Adams said that as a result of the research process, he learned that “responsibility and stability are two things needed to prevent famine.” Marleigh Griffin said she learned that she “works quicker when [she] knows that [she has] other people there.” Cody Leviner and Luke Wallace both mentioned that easybib.com is a good resource for citations. Kristen Adcock learned that in teamwork it is important to be “confident in the decisions of others.” While Randall Ellis said, “It is fun to work with each other.”

The culminating activity for the project was a presentation by Piedmont High Social Studies teacher Tiphany Speck who has travelled to several of the countries represented during student research. Speck shared a PowerPoint presentation revealing the living conditions of those living in poverty and shared stories of the people she met in her travels. Her presentation allowed students to experience the famine on a more personal level.

Vickers completed this project as a pilot last year with an English 10 class. This semester, Vickers, Johnson and Quinn collaborated, bringing together approximately 45 students and increasing the number of countries represented. The collaboration allowed students to help one another learn the technology, practice writing skills, and find confidence in leadership and presenting to a large group.

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, agriculture, politics, anthropology, and community planning fields. Next, students created an annotated bibliography on an assigned country with famine. Finally, the project focus shifted to creating a powerpoint presentation that addressed specific countries: North Korea, India, Philippines, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Thailand, Vietnam, Nicaragua, Brazil, Somalia, Peru, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Niger.

Written by: Stacy Vickers, English Teacher
Posted: Feb 04, 2013 by Donna Helms

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