A very interesting letter recently arrived home in the book bags of the students from Mr. Scott’s class, a 7th Grade Social Studies teacher from Hamilton Heights Schools. This letter is different from most that explain a problem or a project that the student must solve. This is a project that the teacher has taken upon himself to do.
Mr. Scott has taken on the challenge of making the content of his course work come alive for the students. Rather than just studying about Asia, the Middle East, or Africa, he has decided to have them experience it as if they were in the shoes of someone in that part of the world. “As much as possible, we’ve tried to join in and experience history, government, and economics from within rather than just looking at the content from the perspective of an outsider,” stated Mr. Scott in his letter home.
It goes on to read, currently the average American uses approximately 100 gallons of water each day for necessities like showering, cooking, flushing the toilets, and drinking. In contrast the average person living in Sub-Sarahan Africa uses approximately 2-5 gallons of water each day for all the same purposes. In addition the average Sub-Sarahan African walks about 1.85 miles each way to get the water that will be used. You must consider that the return trip would include the weight of the water on their backs!)
“In an effort to further understand what people go through on a daily basis, I am excited to join in with our brothers and sisters in Africa to briefly experience with their world is like,” stated Mr. Scott. “Starting Monday the 10th, I plan to use no more than 5 gallons of water each day for a week.” The water he plans to use will be gathered each morning from a friends home approximately 1.85 miles away and then carried back to my house. Mr. Scott will be video blogging and journaling each night to share what the experience is like that day.
He has made an invitation to his students to participate in a number of ways.
- Those who are willing are invited to experience that right along with him. Try it for a day, a few days, or even the full week. There is no doubt that any of these will be impactful.
- Try to walk 1.85 miles during the week to get a grasp of the journey traveled daily. Again, do it once, twice, or as many times as you can. You might even try to carry some weight one direction to simulate the weight of water.
- Watch the recordings from the journey.
Although participation is not mandatory by Mr. Scott, he hopes students will take the initiative to participate It is purely for the experience. As Albert Einstein said, “The only source of knowledge is experience.”
Watch the Town of Cicero Facebook page to follow the story as Mr. Scott progresses through his week. Make sure to cheer him on. A sign of a good teacher is the ability to change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.