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This lesson plan focuses students attention on the issue of consumerism and asks them to consider its benefits and drawbacks. Students identify the different influences on their spending habits with special attention to the role of the media. Students must track their recent purchases and consider how many should be considered needs as opposed to wants.
They are then introduced to Buy Nothing Day and its goal of causing people to think about the role of shopping in our culture and more broadly to appreciate the impact that 'what, why and how much we buy' has on our planet as well as our quality of life.
As a culminating activity students work cooperatively to plan either a pageant or television program to celebrate Buy Nothing Day and spread its message.
The resource teaches the students to:
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
The activities provide an opportunity to discuss arguments for and against consumerism. It also offers the teacher some suggestions for ideas to support both positions.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
The activities allow for the discussion of the social, environmental and economical impact of consumerism in both a positive and negative light. While not explicitly addressed, the activities provide many opportunities to connect consumption to resource depletion, solid waste and pollution.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
The action experience is offered as an extension and offers great potential to enhance the resource as a culminating activity.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Very Good|
The lesson draws on personal experience and students are provided with thoughtful questions for self-reflection.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
This is not the focus of the resource.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Poor/Not considered|
This is not the focus of the resource but opportunities to explore the environmental impact of over consumption abound.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
The activities are not locally focused in terms of the students' communities but the activities are very relevant to the lives of the students as they often have money to spend and are often targets of ad campaigns.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
Students base their 'answers' largely through participation in activities that cause them to reflect on their own experiences.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The focus of the lesson lends itself largely towards the Language Arts and Media Studies with a focus on communication, writing, and performing. Valid connections can be made to Environmental Science, Psychology and Social Studies content outcomes as well.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
There are strong activities provided that would engage most learning styles; however, no accommodations are suggested for those learners who may struggle.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Although there is no case study included, the students do look at their own spending and buying habits which helps them to understand the concept taught.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
There are no tools or suggestions provided for assessment purposes.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Poor/Not considered|
Case studies are not included.
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
Choice is restricted to the final activity.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|