Saturday, April 27, 2013

If the World Were a Village

I recently had the opportunity to work with some of my amazing friends (and fellow homeschooling mamas) to plan an Earth Day celebration for our community.  We used If the World Were a Village as the basis for the activity. The book is a fascinating way to break world demographics down into a more understandable size (even I, mathematically and statistically frightened as I am, loved it!). It shows the statistics as if the world population were 100 people (each person represents 70 million).

 For example, this is the population by continent if the world contained only 100 people:
Asia: 61
Africa: 14
Europe: 11
South America: 8
North America: 5
Oceania: 1

Each child (and most of the adults) in attendance was part of a human bar graph, of sorts.  They each received a booklet telling them where they fit in the world of 100 people representing: languages spoken, religious affiliation, employment, literacy, food and electricity.  They then formed into groups as we discussed each statistic and were able to see, in a very visual way, how they relate to the rest of the world.

We learned a new song and dance, wore costumes,  played games (ex:guess how many people in the world have cell phones, cars and computers*) and were able to take a look at the culture of our planet in a non-political, facts-only format.

The room was decorated with graphics representing the different statistics we discussed.
My contribution was a timeline showing the growth of the world population starting with 1 person (70 million people) in 1000 BC and ending with 100 people (7 billion) in the current day. 

{part of the timeline: 10 people at the time the Taj Mahal was constructed (1650)
 and 17 people when Napoleon was alive}


 There was a good turnout, but we still had a few booklets left over (even after adults jumped in to fill some spots), so we weren't quite at 100.  

Thank you, fabulous friends, for making this celebration so wonderful. 
 I am so incredibly grateful for the outstanding homeschooling community in our area!

Happy Earth Day!

 {Ellie and her sweet friend Hannah.  I love these two together!}

(*if the world were a village of 100, 34 people have cell phones, 13 have computers and 19 have cars)

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