Can you change the world? Dewey Decimal Section 300

Can a nine year old boy  persuade city officials to build a park in a crowded neighborhood? Can one girl stand up to the gangs in Chicago? Can a Maine teenager take on a giant corporation to save dolphins? Can an Indiana sixth-grader fight sexism in her school? The answer to the questions is yes, absolutely! Children can be an inspiration to their community and make a difference in this world. Phillip Hoose’s book, It’s Our World, Too! Young People Who are Making a Difference explores 14 extraordinary children who changed their world. It also teaches students how to go about making a difference in their own worlds.

The next few weeks will bring an exciting project for the 4th graders at SP. They are going to learn about young people who are making a difference in our world. They will work in groups to study on of the 14 children in Phillip Hooses’s book.  They are going to find out how these brave children saw something wrong and worked to change it. They will then ask the question, “where are they now?” and find out information to update the class on each social activist or project.

This will be the conclusion of a year long study of the Social Sciences section of the Dewey Decimal system. The 300’s cover sociology and anthropology, meaning the study of human society and social relations, from prehistory to the present. The ideas of politics, economics, law, public policy, social movements and institutions, education, commerce, communications, transportation, citizenship, manners, customs and folklore are all classified as Social Sciences. Can you believe our 4th graders have been studying that in the library?! Well they have. To help them better understand what all these ideas mean we have explored how folklore teaches us about a societies beliefs and customs. Basically, how a particular society “works”. Just ask them about the true meaning of Humpty Dumpty! They will tell you that the nursery rhyme was a way of passing information from one community to the next in the middle ages. Most people weren’t educated and couldn’t read. To spread news from town to town they would make up poems and rhymes that would be easily remembered. Humpty Dumpty was a huge cannon that helped protect parliament in England.  During one of the many civil wars and uprising Humpty Dumpty was hit by another cannon and fell off the wall. None of the kings horses or men could put Humpty back because the wall was destroyed and Humpty was too heavy.

This falcon hopes this project will inspire everyone. Each of us can help change the world whether we are 9 or 59! It doesn’t have to be huge or detailed. But, if you can take the time to help a little and change the world for even one person you are doing a lot! Here are just some ideas of what you can do! Taken from the book It’s Our World, Too!

  • Love plants………………….Volunteer at a community garden
  • Love Animals…………………….Help an environmental group
  • Like to build……………..Help build a house for poor people
  • Love to read…………………………………Tutor Someone else
  • Play guitar………………………Sing at a senior citizens’ center
  • Like to cook………………………..Prepare meals for a shelter
  • Love basketball……………………….Organize a benefit game
  • Collect things for fun……Collect food or clothing for others
  • Like to draw…………………..Put on an art show for charity

Hoose, Phillip M. It’s Our World, Too!: Young People Who Are Making a Difference : How They Do It–how YOU Can, Too! [New York]: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2002. Print.

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