I try to use learning activities in my Sociology class as much as I can. It helps keep the students engaged and research shows that it helps them learn more.
We are studying inequality this week and today I staged a hunger banquet using material from several other sociologists and the Oxfam America site which helps people across America stage Hunger Banquets to heighten awareness of global inequality.
It was interesting to see the students in the different income groups and their reactions to the experience. One boy in the lower income group ate a frozen pizza roll and this really upset his peers in his group. I don’t think they have a real concept of hunger. In fact I am sure most of us don’t.
A lot of activity took place to help students see inequality first hand. There was upward and downward social mobility, adoption and the elimination of the middle class. It was quite interesting.
Tomorrow I will get them to give me a written response which I hope will give me even more insight into their reaction to the experience.
Father, thank you for the food I enjoy daily. Help me to give more to help those in need. As we think about this day of giving, let it carry forward and keep me and all of us better aware of the great needs around us. Amen.