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Fourth Grade CSL: Hunger

Fourth graders were asked to think about the essential question, “What does it mean to be hungry, and how can we reduce this problem in our community?” To begin their journey, armed only with their previous knowledge on the topic, children were asked to draw what they felt hunger looked like.

They incorporated a word, or words, and some type of art element, which allowed students to express their own thoughts about hunger. Fourth graders also established a small community garden at the school where they planted and harvested lettuce in the fall.

This hands-on experience helped students realize that growing food is harder than most people believe. They also better understood that those who are hungry might not have places to grow, water, and maintain a garden.

Our fourth graders also worked at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, and over the course of two hours, packed 4,360 pounds of food into backpacks – which equaled 3,633 total meals provided to chronically hungry children. They then coordinated the Westminster school-wide food drive in November and raised nearly $2,000 in cash donations and over 1,000 pounds of food.

To show students how difficult it is to eat nutritious food on a tight income, they walked to 7-11 with the assignment of purchasing the healthiest lunch possible for $2.00. From this experience, our fourth graders quickly realized that even in our own community access to healthy and affordable food options is very limited.

Students then had the opportunity to meet with a representative from the Dinner with Love Foundation, who spoke with the class about its program to deliver nutritious holiday dinners to needy families throughout the metro on December 22 and 23.

Students asked detailed questions and were very engaged with the speaker, and many went on to either donate money or volunteer to deliver meals.

Finally, fourth graders researched and created a display wall map for the Taste of the States project. The map showcased each of the 50 states based on hunger level rankings. Students, through this collaborative map, highlighted the regions where hunger percentages are higher and displayed the scope of hunger across the USA.