In 7th grade social sciences thematics our students tackle SDG #2 – End Hunger: Achieve Food Security & Improved Nutrition, and Promote Sustainable Agriculture. An integral part of all thematics units is the integration of the “Why It Matters” informational reading activity and utilizing the Sustainability Compass. Both of these initial activities work to build understanding of the focus goal and teach students how to Think in Systems. The Compass Model of systems thinking creates an opportunity for students to connect the dots between nature, society, wellbeing, and the economy. It allows students to understand cause and effect relationships and begin to understand that the solutions to these issues, are as interconnected as the problems themselves.
During this unit students were inspired by the documentary “Starfish Throwers”which was introduced as a discussion starter for brainstorming solutions to this global issue. Students were most inspired by Katie’s story – a sixth grade student who accidentally grew a gigantic size cabbage in her garden for a school project and turned into food for hundreds of people in a local soup kitchen. Realizing that their classrooms were surrounded by copious amounts of garden space and that they had access to gardening experts right here on campus (thank you to our beautiful local farmers that supported this project) the students decided to launch their “Plant the Planet” project in an effort to be change makers for SDG #2 right here in Bali.
Over the course of four months students grew their own crops in order to make salsa, which they then sold at our bi-weekly farmers market. Each student in the class had a different role to play in the project including photographer/videographer, blogger, project manager, entrepreneur/finances, gardener, and chef to name a few. The blogging group created http://planttheplanet.weebly.com/ to showcase the development of their project. By the end of the project the students had raised over $200 to be donated to their chosen charity East Bali Poverty project which supports thousands of Balinese people living in poverty without water, sanitation, roads, schools, health facilities and electricity in East Bali.