DEVELOPED or UNDERDEVELOPED?
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GRADE LEVEL/SUBJECT: Grades 5 - 12
For many years there has been controversy about what it means for a nation to be "developed" or "underdeveloped", "third world", "haves" and "have-nots". This activity is designed to help students be aware of the controversy and to examine the meaning of development to a nation and to man.
The purpose of this activity, used during a study of world cultures and the connections between all people, is to help students understand world issues and trends, value diversity (in their classroom as well as among all people), and increase awareness of their planet.
Students will -
1. identify and discuss the factors that make a country a developed or developing country.
2. examine their own definitions of developed and underdeveloped.
3. create a product (scrapbooks, collages, poems, essays, etc.) that depicts their view of developed or underdeveloped.
Teacher Resources - slide projector and slides. Try for a wide variety and some surprises. For example, an elaborately decorated cathedral on a Montana Indian reservation, Nazi concentration camps, a Paris street scene, the Acropolis, a shanty in Appalachia, and a woman chasing a pig with a broom in a Swiss village, as well as others.)
Student Materials- pencils and paper, lots of magazine pictures, art materials, etc., for products.
ACTIVITIES AND PROCEDURES:
1. Without prior discussion, show the students a series of slides featuring people and places from countries around the world. For each slide, students are to independently write in what country the picture was taken, and does the picture depict a developed or an underdeveloped situation.
2. Refuse to discuss or define "developed" or "underdeveloped" while showing the slides the first time.
3. Show the slides a second time, this time discussing each one and listening to the students' responses and interaction.
4. Encourage students during the discussion to consider fuller ways of seeing the world.
5. In some way, discuss the definitions of "developed" and "underdeveloped". Use brainstorming with the whole group and encourage the use of the thesaurus.
6. Work on individual or group products depicting the student's definitions.
TYING IT ALL TOGETHER:
1. Share the completed products with the class and perhaps the entire student body. Consider submitting some of the written work for publication.
2. As a follow-up activity, invite international students to visit the class.
3. Students will have begun to examine their own assumptions and are now aware that development and underdevelopment could encompass factors other than industrialization and technology.