The World’s Largest Lesson: Grade 7 Service Projects

Photo credit: The World’s Largest Lesson, by Project Everyone

What is Service as Action?

Service as Action is an important part of the curriculum for IB MYP students, with service being a core value of all IB learners, who strive to be caring members of the global community:

“We show empathy, compassion and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us.”

Through action, students are able to encounter the world outside of school through real life and hands-on experiences. This gives them the opportunity to form authentic connections between the lessons they learn in the classroom and what they discover in the wider community. The experience of service gives meaning and context to their studies, while taking action in the community allows them to directly apply the lessons they are learning in a real world situation.

The World’s Largest Lesson

This year, the service projects of Grade 7 students were inspired by The World’s Largest Lesson, a campaign by the Project Everyone organisation to introduce U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals to children all over the world. The campaign aims to unite the global community in action to end extreme poverty, to fight inequality and injustice and to tackle climate change. There are seventeen global goals which form a 15-year plan to help to achieve this vision, including no poverty, zero hunger and a good quality education.

Grade 7 Service Projects

As expected, the Grade 7 students were creative in their approach to their Service as Action projects with each group interpreting their task differently. One group engaged in service through advocacy by creating and distributing posters around ISA to raise awareness of world hunger. The target audience was their fellow students, who the group believe are the future solution for tackling global issues such as world hunger. Another group’s Food Bank Project took a local approach to tackling hunger by gathering non-perishable food and donated it to a food bank. Despite the small scale of the project, the group hopes “to inspire others to make a difference just like us.”

Some students took their practical approach on a more global scale, by collecting money and donating it to the AmyFoundation, which aims to improve the lives of impoverished children in Gugulethu, a small township in South Africa. The Zero Hunger group came up with a future-thinking approach to tackling World Hunger, focusing on a sustainable, long-term solution to feeding an impoverished family. Their goal was simply to “help people” and they achieved this by sending two chickens and a cockerel to a village in Uganda.

This is the first time that ISA has taken on this project and Service as Action Coordinator Jennifer Gryzenhout hopes to continue inspiring students through The World’s Largest Lesson:

“The learning goals for the MYP Service as Action program are well-aligned with those of the World’s Largest Lesson and so it was a logical way to inspire students to take action. Through this project, which was conducted with the guidance of their homeroom teachers, students were able to engage in the Service Learning cycle of identifying a need, planning a way to respond to the need, take action and then reflect on their process, all the while knowing that they were participating in a larger, worldwide initiative. The project allowed for student agency to direct their efforts towards an area of interest for them, and the energy and enthusiasm they had for their projects while working on them was tangible and exciting.”