The involvement in the unit we did ended up including the following teachers:
- 6th grade ELA: Read the book with students as well as supporting articles. Discuss important vocabulary as well as how child labor affects children around the world. Work with students to create wallets and keychains, help sell wallets and keychains at Spanish Market, and run Breakout EDU game at the end of the unit.
- 6th grade Science: Reinforce measurement with the creation of the wallets and keychains. Assist with students making signs for marketing their products at the Spanish Market.
- 6th grade Social Studies: Explore current events around the topic of child labor.
- HS Spanish Club: Host the Spanish Market, provide table for 6th graders to be part of a High School event.
- HS Technology: Record video of events surrounding the theme and interviewing teachers about their experiences
- Technology & Media Integration Specialist (that is me!): Assist with the wallet and keychain design and creation, assist with sales at the Spanish Market, create and help implement the Breakout EDU game.
At the beginning of the unit, we pre-assessed students on how they preferred to learn. We wanted to pre-assess more than just the content, but also the life skills that our students need to be successful in beyond the content (collaboration, communication, critical thinking, creative innovation, and confidence). We know the self-assessment was not the most accurate way of gauging growth, but we wanted to start somewhere (as the 6Cs are new to us as well as students!), and we felt seeing what the students preferred for learning would give us some good insight that might help us develop theme activities.
Sewing Wallets & Keychains
Some facts she shared that surprised the students:
- Rabid dogs and vultures were all over the dump site as people were working.
- Some children had an orange-ish tint to their dark hair as a result of the toxins they were exposed to while working (or from when their mothers were pregnant with them).
- Guatemala City is the largest dump in Guatemala.
- The smell is the area is very strong from the dump site.
- Despite the poverty, Guatemala is a beautiful country.
When the students came up to the Media Center for the Spanish Market, they beelined for their table and had to look and see if someone had purchased their creation. If they were still there, many purchased their own to give as gifts. When their wallet or keychain was not there, there was an initial look of disappointment, but that quickly faded to pride as they realized that someone had wanted to buy what they had personally made. One student even claimed she was "Gucci" after finding out her wallet sold (complete with a little celebratory dance).