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close this bookExploding the Hunger Myths - High School Curriculum (FF, 1987, 173 p.)
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On page xiii you will find a pretest on hunger - a short quiz that is useful in gauging your students' knowledge level and viewpoints before beginning any of the lessons. After each question is covered in class, the pretest can serve as a reference to determine if and how students may have changed their thinking.

The curriculum is divided into eight lessons, each containing at least two activities. In every lesson you will find a background section, procedures for the activities, and all readings and handouts to reproduce for each activity.

Lesson 1, Hunger Awareness, is intended to introduce students not only to the immensity of hunger but also to the way hunger affects people as individuals. During the awareness activities, there is time for some general discussion about the causes of hunger. Students often bring up some common assumptions that are studied in later lessons. Like the pretest, the awareness activities can be used to determine how informed your students are on these subjects and the opinions they hold about them.

Each of the next six lessons is based on a common assumption people make about hunger. Within each lesson, you will find activities designed to help students examine the validity of that assumption. Verbal, mathematical, artistic, and interactive activities are included throughout the curriculum.

After finishing a lesson or activity, you and your students can have a discussion on ways to take constructive action against hunger and related problems. The Action Ideas handout (p. xv) can be reproduced for use with any number of activities. The handout contains general suggestions on things to do, with space for students to write in their own ideas and any you may want to add. Specific suggestions, tailored to the topics of lessons 2-7, are listed in action ideas sections following particular activities.

Lesson 8, Working Together for Change, focuses solely on action ideas that can be undertaken as class or group projects. The activities in this lesson can be done at any time and are easily adapted to ideas from lessons 1-7.

At the end of this curriculum, you will find a glossary with definitions of all listed vocabulary words, and a resource guide to organizations, audiovisual materials, books, and periodicals. For teachers interested in more background before beginning their unit on hunger, I suggest you read World Hunger: Twelve Myths, by Frances Moore Lappnd Joseph Collins, available from Food First/lnstitute for Food and Development Policy and at local bookstores.

Throughout the curriculum, statistics are presented in such a way that students have the opportunity to make their own interpretations. For more subjective material, I have sought readings and references from many different sources. Countries chosen for study reflect a wide geographic distribution, varying levels of development, and different political and economic systems. I have also attempted to use data from countries with which the students have some familiarity.

This curriculum is designed as a guide, an idea book. Therefore, you should feel free to adapt and modify the activities to suit your students' needs. I hope some of the readings and background sections serve as a springboard for developing new activities. A teacher in New York, for example, used one of the readings in lesson 2, activity 4 (Hunger in the Midst of Plenty) as the basis for a skit she wrote. The students then acted in the skit and discussed it. This teacher knew that her students might have trouble writing skits on their own, so she adapted the activity to fulfill the objectives for her students.

Few classes have time to complete every activity in this book (about six weeks), so I have included a chart on the following pages to help you tailor your study of hunger to your subject area and your students' needs. An English teacher with a two-week block of time, for example, might use the seven activities listed under Language Arts in the chart. These activities encourage reading and the development of organizational and writing skills. The pretest may also help you decide which lessons you wish to study.