One day in my first period class I had a student raise their hand and say,
“Mrs. Barry, I am confused.”
Me: "What are you confused about?”
The studentreplied with the following, “How can a baseball player or another professional athlete make around $80,000 for just sitting on the bench or getting up to bat, and we have this horrible debt? It’s not right that some people have so much and so many people don’t. We should do something about this.”
This sparked a several week process of following the debt crisis, and current events on the economy, as well as discussing ways to help our citizens, and how to reduce the debt. My students began to understand that being paid a high salary isn’t a crime, but that somewhere along the line, things had gotten out of control, and now our whole nation was in trouble. This class was very ambitious and worked hard to complete the regular curriculum in addition to this special project.
Below is a video clip of all their ideas. Please realize that sometimes twelve and thirteen-year-olds are idealistic and most of these suggestions might not work, but they did an excellent job of working through the process, thinking outside of the box and making connections. I hope if nothing else it provides some hope that these children do care about their future and want to make a difference now.