Sometimes We Learn, Sometimes We Teach
(Fall 2009: Volume 22, Number 3) By Angene Wilson
Students will explain and discuss what the individual learned in the first article and taught in the second. Then students should write their own short stories about a learning experience and a teaching experience.
Articles in the Fall 2009 WorldView magazine:
- “Letter from: St. Lucia”
- “CN U HLP ME? I HVE A KWSTION: A Peace Corps Volunteer Harnesses the Power of Text Messaging for Good Health”
Ask students to read the two short articles (“Letter from St. Lucia: Learning about Hunger” and “CN U HLP ME? I HVE A KWSTION: A Peace Corps Volunteer Harnesses the Power of Text Messaging for Good Health”) before class, online or as handouts, as examples for their own assignment: writing a short story about a learning experience and another short story about a teaching experience.
Ask students in a whole class discussion to summarize what Karlen learned about hunger and what Khan was able to teach Namibian young people through text messaging. Ask students to locate St. Lucia and Namibia on a world map. Make a point that although these stories took place in other countries and are about what Americans learned and taught there, both topics — hunger and text messaging — are relevant in the U.S., and we each also have experiences in which we learn something, when we teach someone. In fact, the last sentences in the articles could be the thesis statements for their own writing. Karlen concludes: “I just wish I had thought of thanking him instead of chasing him away.” Khan concludes: “Dive right in today. Take inspiration and help wherever you find it.” At this point teacher might share brief experiences of his or her own learning and teaching.
Divide students into small groups to brainstorm ideas for their own writing and then give them time to begin writing two short stories, perhaps a page each, one about a time of learning, one about a time of teaching.
Follow-up or Extension Assignment:
If students want an alternative or additional assignment, suggest finding out more about St. Lucia and poverty in the Caribbean or finding out more about HIV/AIDS in Namibia and the various health information systems mentioned in the article.