Lesson: How Does Fasting Connect Us With Others?

Grade Level: 6-8

Objective: Students will be able to explain what fasting can teach us about the lives of others.

Assessment: Students will answer the question, “How do you think that fasting during Lent can help connect us to other people around the world?”

Duration: Two Periods, 40-45 minutes each

Materials: Chalkboard, Computer/Internet Access, “What I Spend on Food” worksheet, 3x5 index cards, Sales Tax Rate for Your City (look-up online),

Time

(approx.)

Activity

Method

Day 1

5 min

Instructor asks students to take out a piece of paper or a journal and answer this question:

  • Imagine that you are at the grocery store and someone gives you two dollars to spend right now.  What would you spend the money on?  Why?

Bell Work

3 min

Class discusses answers and teacher writes some answers on the board.

Chalk Talk

4 min

Teacher explains that in this lesson, students will learn about how people around the world live.  Teacher asks the class, “How much do you think that your family spends each week on groceries?”  Students volunteer answers.

Large Group Discussion

5 min

Teacher hands out “What I Spend on Food” worksheet and explains directions.  Students complete “Part One” independently.

Direct Instruction and Independent Work

3 min

Students share answers to “Part One.”  Students should add items that they hear that they may have forgotten to add.

Large Group Discussion

3 min

Teacher explains directions to “Part Two” of the worksheet.  Teacher takes question, and dismisses students to work in partners at computers.

Direct Instruction

15 min

Students complete “Part Two” of worksheet.

Partner Work

2 min

Students return to their seats.  Even if they have not finished, they should have a good list of prices.

Return to Seats

5 min

Students answer the following question on a 3x5 index card:

  • Do you think that you need to buy everything that is on your list?  Why or why not?

Exit Card

Day Two

5 min

Instructor asks students to take out a piece of paper or a journal and answer this question:

  • What does it mean to “fast”?  Why do we fast at certain times, for instance, during Lent?  Have you ever fasted?  What did you give up?  Why?

Bell Work

3 min

Students share answers with the person sitting next to them.

Partner Sharing

4 min

Class discusses answers.  Teacher notes that one reason we fast is to better connect us with other people and open our eyes to what others go through.  Teacher explains that the class will use the previous day’s activity to see how they can do this.

Large Group Discussion

5 min

Students take out “What I Spend on Food” worksheet from previous day.  Teacher explains how to find the amount they would pay including tax.

  • Teacher gives the students the Sales Tax Rate for their city. (Example: in Seattle, it is 0.095)
  • Teacher tells students to multiply that number by the Subtotal, and place the answer in the “Sales Tax” box.
  • Students add this number to the subtotal to get the “Total”
  • Students write down the total that they spent on groceries

Direct Instruction

5 min

Teacher explains to students that this total represents the amount of food that their family buys in a week (not counting restaurants and fast food).  Teacher explains that the majority of people in the world live on less than $2 per day.

  • If there are seven days in a week, how much is that per week? ($14).

Direct Instruction

3 min

Students take out a separate sheet of paper.  Teacher explains that, on this sheet, they have 7 minutes to get their grocery list down to $14 for the week.  Students should list items that they need to have and the price of each.  Class calculates how much of the $14 would go to tax and takes that out of the total (on board).

  • Example: In Seattle, a tax rate of 0.095 would mean that $1.33 goes to tax, leaving $12.67 for food.

Direct Instruction

7 min

Students narrow down their lists to get the total, including tax, to equal $14.

Independent Work

7 min

As a class, students answer the following questions:

  • How did you feel when you had to start taking food off of your list?
  • How difficult was it to get your total cost down to $14?
  • $14 represents all of the money that you have.  What would happen if you needed to pay to see a doctor, repair your home, etc.?
  • Even with only $14, you can easily go to the grocery store and buy food.  What do you think that it is like for most people living on $2 a day?
  • Yesterday, you said how you would spend $2 at the grocery store.  How might your answer change if you only had $2 to spend for everything you needed that day?

Large Group Discussion

5 min

On a 3x5 index card, students answer the following question:

  • How do you think that fasting during Lent can help connect us to other people around the world?