Curriculum Unit: Hunger & Food Security

Hunger Food Security
Project Name: Finding Solutions to Hunger
Age Level: 12-14 (Middle), 15-18 (Secondary)
Length of Unit: 5 Weeks
Subject Areas: Social Studies, English & Language Arts, World Geography

Unit Description

To take action against hunger in the world, through understanding and action, is the ultimate goal. Building a network of collaboration, shared knowledge and service happens over time as students study the following concepts, among others, through reading, artistic expression, digital media and writing and reflecting.

  • Why people are hungry
  • Nutritional needs of children and adults
  • Distribution of food and resources
  • Cultural differences in food consumption
  • Eating the way the world eats
  • What is chronic hunger and what is famine
  • Problems of obesity
  • Importance of female education
  • Media messages of food and hunger
  • Sustainability

Why people are hungry when there is enough food in the world for everyone
Students of all ages, grade levels and English speaking/writing skills bring their strengths and ideas in collaboration with another. Activities, readings and tasks can be adjusted at any point in the coursework to meet the language/classroom needs of teachers and students.

Week 1 –  What do we know about hunger? What do we need to learn?
Week 2 – Who is hungry in our world? How widespread is hunger?
Week 3 – Is there enough food in the world? Why are people hungry?
Week 4 – Eating the Way the World Eats
Week 5 – What can we do to help?


Essential Questions

Driving Question:  Why are people hungry when there is enough food in the world for everyone to live a sustained and healthy life?

  • What do we know about hunger?  What do we need to learn?
  • Who is hungry in our world?  How widespread is hunger?
  • Is there enough food in the world?  Why are people hungry?
  • What can we do to help?

Examples of Final Outcomes

Host a hunger banquet as an all-school event/fundraiser. Create posters and videos of all that students have learned and present these to the community.  Use admission funds to micro-finance KIVA loans and grants to those who are directly involved in sustaining food growth and availability in the world.

If you have the technological resources, create Public Service Announcements that can be uploaded to YouTube for public domain availability. Use all the knowledge, factual and narrative, that students have learned over the five weeks of the course. Encourage them to share their videos with each other, or explore opportunities for exposure that is appropriate for your school community.


Content Standards & Sustainable Development Goals

Content Standards

The following evidential content standards are reflected in each week’s lessons and accompanying activities.

  • Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse formats and media, including visually and quantitatively, as well as words.
  • Students will learn about famine and analyze a situation in which lack of access to food is reported to be caused by political forces in some writings and environmental forces in others.
  • Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
  • Students will post in the discussion forum for the Finding Solutions to Hunger, Poverty & Inequality (FSHPI) project, sharing both expository and narrative ideas and reflection to build collaboration with students in other schools, communities and countries.
  • Students might create a “Hunger Journal” where they will record feelings, draft letters, compose stories and poems, and collect ideas for community action.
  • Students will organize their findings and ideas to create an online book, podcast, or multimedia video.

Sustainable Development Goals

# 2 – End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.


Project's Contribution to Others and the Planet

Participants will become inspired with compassion and hope about finding solutions to hunger. They will understand that hunger is not about scarcity. It is about distribution. By working together, they can eliminate forces that undermine self-reliance and create a more just and sustainable world with equitable sharing of resources.