Yesterday I introduced the village of Kok Tnoth to my Grade 6 students.
We found its location with Google maps and looked at where it is located in relation to Siem Reap, the closest city, and Australia.
Our lesson then moved into the inhabitants, population and environment of Kok Tnoth. We shared photos and discussed the difference in lifestyles. Heidi was a guest speaker in Term 1, so the children were aware of the poor standard of living in many of the rural communities. It was a factual session and it prepared the children for todays lesson.
Today we focused on the need for fresh water and hygiene; its implications on the village children's health. This created a dynamic discussion where the students found it difficult to comprehend the living conditions in Kok Tnoth. We hypothesised that our taps no longer provided water - what would happen? The implications were far reaching and the students' were starting to develop a 'deeper' understanding of the conditions that created infection and disease.
As teachers, we have the ability to make children aware of these issues. They don't need to know the nitty gritty, but they do need to be aware of their blessings and develop compassion and for those who are less fortunate. If my Grade 6 class are an example of our future leaders and decision makers, then I am confident that we are all in good hands.