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See Me, Share My World

See Me, Share My World is a tribute to the universal language of art - its disregard for national boundaries and its ability to bond people through their common human experience. The artwork is the ambassador of the Developing World children and their communities, the catalyst for learning about the Developing World in American classrooms, and the inspiration for all of us who worked on the project.

Introduction
Where do you live
What do you eat?
Who teaches you?
What keeps you healthy?
How do you have fun?
Why do you work?
Resources

Introduction

See Me, Share My World: Understanding the Developing World through Children's Art is a multidisciplinary teaching unit designed for use in the upper elementary grades.

The unit centers around a vibrant collection of children's artwork combined with documentary photographs to create a composite portrait of daily life in economically disadvantaged areas of Colombia, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Sierra Leone and Thailand.

The visual images serve as a catalyst for questions and discussion and also promote observation skills and critical thinking. Reproducible activity sheets reinforce key concepts and offer opportunities for additional enrichment.

Open the PDF lesson guide associated with the introduction

Where do you live?1. Where do you live?

This section orients students to the concept of the Developing World and related terms for developing countries through children's art, photographs, charts and map work. Activity Sheets reinforce definitions and concepts and enable students to make comparisons and connections to their own lives.

Objectives - Students will:

  • Locate selected developing and developed countries on a world map
  • Distinguish basic differences between developing and developed countries
  • Discuss how these differences may affect the lives of children growing up in developing countries and, despite the differences, what experiences are common to children everywhere
  • Recognize local connections to developing countries and the importance of learning about them  

Open the PDF guide associated with lesson 1

Download the guide and activity sheets for lesson 1

What do you eat?2. What do you eat?

This section focuses on food production, distribution and preparation-the main occupation of most of the poor in developing countries. Art prints, photographs, activities, and discussion introduce the concept of staple foods, diet and different conditions of hunger.

Objectives - Students will:

  • Compare how food reaches the table in their homes with the route food takes in some developing countries
  • Define "staple food" and give examples of staple foods around the world
  • Compare their diets with those of children in developing countries
  • Recognize that food has different uses in different cultures  

Open the PDF guide associated with lesson 2

Download the guide and activity sheets for lesson 2

3. Who teaches you?

Who teaches you? This section addresses the issues of access to education, literacy and learning in developing countries. Art prints, photographs, activities and discussion challenge students to think of what they need to know to be a member of their society and what they learn from their culture and arts.

Objectives - Students will:

  • Define "education" and distinguish different forms of learning, discussing where and from whom people learn
  • Compare their classroom and school day with that of children in developing countries
  • Give reasons for differences in educational opportunity
  • Show how language, folklore, music and art both reflect and teach societal values  

Open the PDF guide associated with lesson 3

Download the guide and activity sheets for lesson 3

4. What keeps you healthy?

What keeps you healthy? This section establishes the connections between health, environment, clean water and nutrition. Art prints, photographs, activities and discussion help students to explain poor health conditions in developing countries and identify solutions.

Objectives - Students will:

  • Recognize factors contributing to good health in their own lives
  • Compare health conditions in developing and developed countries
  • Give reasons for high mortality rates in developing countries
  • Explain simple steps to improve health care  

Open the PDF guide associated with lesson 4

Download the guide and activity sheets for lesson 4

5. Why do you work?

Why do you work? This section examines the role of children's work in rural and urban families in developing countries. Art prints, photographs, and activities show that the poor are not poor because they do not work hard, but rather because they do not earn enough to meet their basic needs.

Objectives - Students will:

  • Define "work" and discuss types of wages
  • Compare their daily chores with those of children in developing countries
  • Distinguish between rural and urban working conditions
  • Recognize how work reflects culture and community values  

Open the PDF guide associated with lesson 5

Download the guide and activity sheets for lesson 5

6. How do you have fun?

How do you have fun? This section focuses on the universality of games and festivals. Art prints, photographs, activities and discussion help students to find similarities in games children play around the world, and to appreciate festivals as expressions of culture.

Objectives - Students will:

  • Identify common elements in games and holidays enjoyed by children in developing countries
  • Show connections between festivals and events in nature
  • Recognize how festivals combine secular and religious traditions
  • Appreciate the diversity of customs and traditions in the United States and in developing countries  

Open the PDF guide associated with lesson 6

Download the guide and activity sheets for lesson 6

Culminating Activities, Sources & References

You've just finished your special journey around the world! Sit back a moment and think about all you've seen and done. Here are just a few of the things:

  • You can count to five in Spanish, Krio, Hindi and Thai.
  • You've seen how much work people your age do in developing countries and how many families still do not make enough money to have a good meal every night.
  • You've shared festivals and games with your new friends overseas and found that, though things might look and sound different, there are a lot of things you have in common.  

Open the sources PDF document

Open the standards PDF document

Acknowledgements

See Me, Share My World would not be possible without the contributions of many people. Our special thanks to: our funders, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities, and others for their foresight and generosity; numerous businesses for donated services; teachers throughout Rhode Island who adopted the project as their own, developed ideas for activities and piloted the teaching unit; school administrators who made it possible to bring a new project into the schools; the young students in Rhode Island who shared with us what they learned through creative examples of their own response artwork and writing; experts from all disciplines who contributed their time and insight; Carolyn Watson for her photographs; responded to our initial request for children's art; and to the children overseas who have touched our hearts through their art.