Supervising Grade 6C for their World’s Largest Lesson session with the AIESEC in Delhi IIT students was a truly joyful experience. It was quite heartwarming to see such excitement and enthusiasm of the 6th graders to learn about the topic of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and their high level of energy when interacting with the session leaders.
I loved seeing the children being open to all learning, absorbing all the information being given to them about the SDGs, and how they were relatively globally aware, already having large reserves of knowledge regarding several of the issues being discussed by the SDGs.
The activities started off with a discussion regarding what are the SDGs, their creation, and their need in today’s times. The IIT students then played a video with a creative story of a child called Ram in order to help the 6th Grade remember the SDGs. The story described how Ram was living in poverty and thus could not afford food, further not being able to find a job due to his lack of quality of education. His sister could not either work for a living as she was not granted access to school due to gender inequality, having to go search for water everyday due to fresh water scarcity. The story went on to describe the different ways in which Ram and his community worked to overcome the issues they faced in their life, working to use renewable energy to combat climate change, efficiently using resources in order to achieve sustainability of cities, and how this would allow life to thrive above land and water, allowing the community to not go hungry.
At the end of the video, the students were asked to recall as many SDGs as they could from memory, with one student recalling 10 out of 17 goals, an impressive feat. Every student was able to recall at least 4-5 goals, showcasing how they were paying attention to the details of the video.
Next, the class was divided into 4 teams, and were given the opportunity to create a team name and slogan. The 4 teams were: Global Leader, Panthers, M.A.S.S.H, and M.A.R.S. These teams were then asked to choose any one SDG and write about the issues which must be overcome in order to achieve this goal, also discussing the possible solutions to the same. It was in this discussion time that I saw the real potential in the 6th Grade students, getting to know the innovativeness and creativeness of their minds, with some groups having uncovered even the most minute issues under their chosen SDG, all without the use of their laptops, relying solely on their prior knowledge.
However, I also noticed that some students faced some issues in understanding other students’ perspectives. For example, team M.A.S.S.H took the SDG of Climate Action, and a particular student, Aryaman, suggested that smoking was also a problem that needs to be resolved. This was not understood and ignored by his other teammates. However, I worked with the group to help them understand how cigarette butts and fumes have a potential to start forest fires if a cigarette that has been lit is thrown carelessly on grassy forest grounds.
At the end, the students all jived alongside the AIESEC IIT students, with all of them participating enthusiastically and greatly enjoying themselves. Furthermore, it was great to see how this session set in motion the thought process of students, as I noticed that after I got out of the class, students were discussing the SDGs and the problems they identified, engaging in intellectual conversation.
Overall, the World’s Largest Lesson was a greatly organized session by the AIESEC IIT students and it was great to see how MYP 1 was extremely interactive and seemed to benefit greatly from the same in terms of their global awareness.