Social Justice is an important concept I strive to impart upon my boys. But, finding ways to bring issues around the world to light is not always an easy task.
Our family was recently sent the Bead for Life Curriculum to review and it has definitely fit the bill.
The overall theme of this curriculum (which is written for a classroom setting) is to get kids in grades 6 – 12 to understand more about global poverty and hopefully get them engaged in making a difference. That is exactly what I’m wanting for my boys… learn about the needs of others and then find ways that you can help.
BeadforLife is set up to span 5 days of ‘instruction’:
Day 1: Extreme Poverty, Africa and Uganda
Day 2: Life on a Dollar a Day
Day 3: Meet the Beaders
Day 4: BeadforLife: A model for Success
Day 5: Taking Action: How YOU Can Help Eradicate Poverty
Each day has an overview for the teacher along with critical thinking questions, objectives, key concepts, subject areas covered and vocabulary; all at a glance. There are notes to help you pull together a lecture component as well as activities to help ‘bring it home’ for the students.
To give you a ‘taste’ of an activity, I want to highlight the one from Day 1. We all know the infamous quote by Marie Antoinette “let them eat cake!”, right? Well, how about using a cake to show how resources are split among the world population. Live in a rich country like the US and you’ll get more than your fair share of that cake. But, if you live in a country with a much lower per capita Gross National Income (GNI), you’ll find that the portion of the cake given to that country is significantly less and some of the population could be left with nothing as a few might gobble up the little there is available.
As I just mentioned, this curriculum has the classroom teacher in mind with the way everything is presented. However, I figure my three boys can easily make a small classroom OR even better I could take this to a co-operative learning environment and truly have more of a classroom feel. Modifications to activities can be made for a smaller group, but in some ways you almost need more than a few kids to really make it work. (I’m wanting to use this in an upcoming co-op session as part of a geography study, but haven’t mapped it all out yet.)
Along with the spiral bound curriculum, there is a DVD available that contains an overview of the program as well as a segment showing how to roll beads from paper.
We were sent some bead samples as well as a gorgeous necklace made from beads rolled with this technique using recycled paper. I was stunned at what beauty was created with such a simple technique and ‘lowly’ material. I’m now itching to make our own beads here with the boys.
Making a difference comes into play with the opportunity for groups to take action and make a difference either on a local level or more globally. There are “Fundraising with Curriculum” BeadParty kits containing jewelry items, African recipes, a CD of African music and more with the idea of funds raised being split between BeadforLife and a local organization.
All in all, this is an impressive program that can appeal to not only the classroom setting, but also homeschoolers seeking to make a difference. You can find out more about the BeadforLife curriculum, including a free download of materials, purchasing the printed curriculum set ($29.95) or getting a BeadParty set up.
Along with the curriculum, you can shop with BeadforLife and help support this worthwhile charity. With the holidays just around the corner, these unique items just might meet one or more of your gift giving needs and support a charity in the process. I call that a win-win!
Disclaimer ~ We were sent the BeadforLife: Curriculum for Youth to facilitate this review. No compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are my own.