The 7th grade humanities classes are currently reading a non-fiction book about resourcefulness and perseverance called The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. It was written by William Kamkwamba about his childhood in Malawi during famines in the early 2000s, his lack of access to education and his desire to make things better for himself and his family. Amazingly, his journey brought him to the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth. His story is inspiring and students are actively engaged in analyzing the text, looking for themes, pulling out important text quotes to support their thinking and posing lots of questions. Students prepare for and hold three student-run discussions on the book, then analyze their discussions to see if they met all of the listed goals for a strong analytical discussion.
Our final project with this book will be to hold a mock United Nations summit on one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals: eradicating extreme poverty. Each student will represent a different nation, will be responsible for researching their nation and writing a 'position paper'. They will then work with other delegates to draft and present resolutions, persuade others to support them and ultimately, as a group, attempt to pass one of the resolutions.