Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Little Perspective

Never one for the "What are you thankful for?" essay, my students watched the Water Buffalo video in class yesterday. I suppose I'm now one of those teachers who watches videos on the day before break, but that's my cross to bear.
The plan was to have them watch the video where a $450 water buffalo which equals an Indonesian family's yearly salary is gifted to such a family and we all learn a little bit about life and maybe, just maybe, ourselves.
To hit the lesson home, the students were going to catalog the price of everything they had on their person. This leads to, "Ohmigosh, I am carrying around the salary of an entire Indonesian family," and our very special episode of Blossom concludes.
In another instance of underestimating our kids, they got it.
First hand up, "It just made me think of how much I have and how much I take for granted. I mean, all that work they have to do just to farm..."
Well, my work was done.
The nods of agreement across the classroom told me I needn't proceed with the cataloging.
"Look up here," say I, projecting the homepage on the board.
After a 10-minute explanation, the kids are working in teams to find a loan to which they think we should contribute the $50 sitting in my Kiva account.
When we get back from break, the class will vote.
The judiciousness with which they approached the selection process was inspiring.
There's your critical thinking.