Research Skills: The Facts of Childhood Hunger

Try this classroom research activity to teach your students about hunger in the world. It will help give them a whole new perspective.

  1. Begin with a classroom discussion. Ask students what they know about the problem of hunger. How many people in the United States go hungry? Who does hunger affect? What are the consequences of hunger for adults? For children? Record their answers, guesses and further questions on the board or on chart paper.
  2. Share the videos “Lily, Her Mom, and No Kid Hungry” and Megan’s Story of Childhood Hunger with students. As a class, discuss students’ reactions to the videos. What information or facts did they find surprising? What questions do they have about childhood hunger after watching the videos? List these questions on the board.
  3. Next, divide students into groups of three or four students. Each group should be responsible for tackling part of the research. Assignments could include:
    • Answering the questions about hunger you listed on the board.
    • Researching hunger statistics for your community. How many people in your area will go to bed hungry tonight? Does hunger disproportionately affect any one group? What impact does hunger have on your community’s schools and resources?
    • Researching the term “food desert” and determining whether or not it applies to your community or region. What extra challenges exist for hungry children and adults who can’t access fresh, nutritious food?
    • Exploring what local resources exist for assisting hungry kids and adults, and discussing how it might feel to get groceries from a food pantry or to fill out a Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) form.
  4. Share these lists of resources with your students.YouTube Videos

    Movies

    Websites

    Suggested Reading

  5. Challenge each group to prepare a five-minute presentation based on their research that shares three surprising facts they learned about hunger in the United States and one to three possible solutions to ending childhood hunger.
  6. Begin your next session by having groups share their presentations, answering questions from the remaining students and discussing key findings.
  7. Once the presentations have concluded, talk to your class about hunger in their own school and community. It’s important that they understand so they can bring awareness to others.

Posted by Lauren Hoffman

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