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This unique STEM learning unit teaches students that ingenuity and resourcefulness can transform communities living in poverty. The pumpkins familiar to all of us as fall decorations become the catalyst for change in an area of Bangladesh where the annual monsoons often devastate homes and crops. The multi-disciplinary approach uses a series of creative activities to introduce students to the following topics:
The cross-curricular approach of this resource supports science investigations on plant growth and social studies outcomes related to poverty, citizenship and sustainability. Students also use art and technology to design seed packets while health outcomes are addressed through a food diary activity and exploring vitamin content of foods.
This teaching unit also provides the framework for a classroom action project focused on nutrition and sustainability. If a local community garden is available students could help harvest and distribute produce to low income families and seniors. A class could also use their pumpkin recipes to prepare items for a bake sale which raises funds for the local food bank.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
This resource effectively describes the value of community participation as an approach to addressing poverty issues. Students are able to explore how families have worked together to implement a successful program to help alleviate some of the social costs of high flooding rates in the Rangpur district.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Students explore flooding impacts on individuals and villages. They also consider factors that may be contributing to higher flood levels. An analysis of the financial gains of farmers involved in the Pumpkins against Poverty project provides an understanding of the economic benefits of community based stewardship.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The activities in this resource lead students through the process of defining a problem and brainstorming solutions.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Although students are not directly involved in an actual project, the resource guides them through the steps to develop a community based action initiative. This provides the foundation to support classrrom or school based environmental projects.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
Students will develop a greater ecological awareness of the global impacts of environmental issues such as climate change while deepening their personal compassion.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
Pumpkins Against Poverty encourages students to view the poorest citizens of Bangladesh with respect for their hard work and determination rather than the pity that so often defines regions of abject poverty.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Satisfactory|
Students participate in a pumpkin seedling growing exercise. This activity could be expanded to include an outdoors component with the class transplanting and tending the seedlings in a school garden. Students are exposed to the impacts of climate change on the land and lives of those people living in flood-prone societies.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The "Delicious Pumpkins" activity encourages students to share family pumkin recipies. Describing how pumpkins are used at home builds meaning into the learning experience.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Satisfactory|
Students investigate causes of flooding from the perspective of continued sea level rise and explore seed saving as a method of maintaining food security.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
This resource engages learners in the investigation of a complex real-world environmental issue from the perspective of the citizens who live in the flood prone regions of Bangladesh. The hands-on activities support student reflection and interaction with the content.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The Pumpkins Against Poverty activities successfully draws upon content from social studies, science, math, ELA and visual arts to build citizenship skills in students.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Challenging tasks such as measuring seed germination and designing a seed packet empower students to take the initiative in asking and testing questions while making new discoveries.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
No accommodations for differentiation are provided, but there is a good balance between formal and informal learning to support students who prefer hands-on learning experiences.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Creativity, scientific inquiry and research are integrated into many of the lessons thus providing an in-depth learning experience.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Students work individually or in small groups.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Each activity includes a written exercise that gives teachers a formative assessment tool, but no other assessment techniques are included with the resource.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching||Poor/Not considered|
Students prepare presentations and produce items such as recipie books. These items could be used to promote the Pumkins Against Poverty project within the school and community but peer teaching is not an important component of this unit.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The lessons use real examples and build upon each other in a holistic approach that guides students from describing an issue to defining and implementing solutions.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Activities like “Pumpkin lifecycle” and “Seeds for the future” support student decision making but since this unit targets a young audience a certain amount of teacher direction is necessary in all of the lessons.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|