Issues like world hunger and the world’s energy crisis can simply appear too big to tackle for most individuals, but there are ways we can demonstrate that the collective action of individuals can make a difference.
My family and I participated in the very successful Earth Hour in Christchurch on Saturday evening – despite meaning that I missed watching the Blues vs Bulls game live on TV 🙂 We spent an enjoyable hour as a family playing Scrabble by the light of two candles. It was my kids who were particularly keen for us to do this, having been exposed to advertising about the event at school and in the media, so while we played Scrabble, we also discussed in detail the significance of the Earth Hour event. I’m a fan of Social Action outcomes in terms of what we do in education – even if they take the form of demonstrators or symbolic events such as Earth Hour – hey, 12.8% saving in the city’s electricity use for one hour has to provide some indication of what can be achieved on a longer term basis.
Back to the Scrabble game and the focus on vocabulary and word meaning – made me interested when I came across an online vocabulary building activity called Free Rice. The site has two goals; 1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for free, and 2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. For each word you get right the site sponsors will donate 20 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger.
This is a great activity site – with 55 levels and the ability to select the level you start at and remember this for another occasion. You even have the ability to listen to the word before selecting its meaning from a list of four options. And of course, using the site provides a great opportunity to highlight the issues of world hunger and what can be done about it.