Imagine that you were hungry all the time. How do you think it would affect how you behaved and how well you did in school? Why?
What do you think might be the leading cause of hunger where you live? What resources does your community have to help people get the food they need to survive?
According to the article, millions of people have fled their home countries because they can't get enough food to eat. Do you think people living in the countries they go to are morally obligated to help them survive? Why or why not?
According to the article, experts fear the world hunger rate will continue to increase unless people intervene. If long-standing wars and increased natural disasters from climate change are the main reasons for this increase, what can people do to help?
- As a class, discuss what a food bank is and how it provides food to hungry people.
- Invite a representative from a local food bank to visit the class so students can gain a better understanding of what food banks do. If there is no organization like this in your area, challenge students to identify a group that could help them start a food bank. Invite someone from that group to visit the class to explore how this could be done.
- Working in conjunction with the food bank representative, encourage students to create a plan to host a food drive. Guide them as they work through the details of how, where and when they will collect food. Remind them that they must advertise the event prior to collection day and they must have a place to store and distribute food after it is collected. In addition, they will need a steady stream of volunteers to get the work done.
- Once the details are ironed out, put the plan into action as students host their first annual food drive.
CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:
The images in this Smithsonian Learning Lab collection depict different portrayals of Thanksgiving from 1863 to 1994. Invite students to examine the images and complete the activities as they explore the meaning behind the Thanksgiving holiday.
Contemporary celebrations of the Thanksgiving holiday focus on the idea that the “first Thanksgiving” was a friendly gathering of two disparate groups—or even neighbors—who shared a meal and lived harmoniously. Encourage students to review these materials from the National Museum of the American Indian to understand Native perspectives on the annual holiday.
Watch this short video from the National Museum of the American Indian to learn how to use widely accessible and inexpensive materials to create a corn necklace. The activity, designed for students up to fifth grade, provides an alternative to the culturally inappropriate paper feather headdress that is often made for Thanksgiving and during Native American Heritage Month.
In this teacher-created lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, students design a community garden to benefit the hungry in the community.
Invite students to get into the Thanksgiving spirit with this playlist of tunes from Smithsonian Folkways Recordings.
In this inquiry, presented by the Smithsonian’s History Explorer, students in grades 5-8 investigate one of the best-known stories in American history—the interaction between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoags that included the first Thanksgiving.
Use this teacher-created lesson from the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to help students design a system of community-supported agriculture (CSA). The lesson includes math applications such as measurement and geometry.
The turkeys common on U.S. tables descended from a Mexican species and were originally bred for Maya rituals. Read this Smithsonian magazine article to learn more.