“Girl Rising is going to fundamentally change my soul… and is now a part of me, my passion, and my lessons.”
School: Southampton Township Schools, Southampton Township, NJ
Number of Students: 40
What was your goal in bringing Girl Rising into your classroom?
My goal in bringing Girl Rising into our classroom was to first introduce students to experiences of others around the world. Second, I wanted to introduce students to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Finally, I wanted to use the cause of educating girls around the globe to be a starting off point for a larger discussion and project around using social media for social good.
How did you use and teach Girl Rising? Please be as specific as possible.
I used Girl Rising as a culminating project on a unit about digital leadership. In the unit students learned about the power and responsibility that comes with their digital lives as a final project, students learned about Girl Rising by watching and discussing the Wadley/Haiti and Suma/Nepal chapters of the movie. We then discussed how Girl Rising related to the SDGs, specifically SDG 4, 5, 10, and 16. Students were then tasked with creating media to share via my social media channels and our class website.
I used the resources from the Teens Rising Together as a guide for my lesson plans and discussions.
Was your Girl Rising unit self-contained or part of another unit?
It was a culminating project in a larger unit. The Girl Rising part lasted about 7-10 days.
Which Girl Rising chapters did you screen?
Which Girl Rising resources did you use?
Teens Rising Together Online Module
Did you use any outside resources?
For the digital leadership lessons I used lessons from Common Sense Media.
Did your unit culminate in any final project or community activity?
Girl Rising was part of our culminating project. We did share our work on a website that will continue to be updated through the years. We also collaborated with a class from Colorado and from New York to create a Padlet of memes.
From your perspective as an educator, what is the strength of Girl Rising?
The strength of Girl Rising is that it is relatable to our students, they are all in school. Some may have differing feelings about school, but when they see the struggle that some children go through just for a chance to go to school, I think it makes an impact on them.
So, some of the strength I see are:
Students get to see the world through a different lens.
Students see that through perseverance obstacles can be overcome.
It is a great jumping off point for many different discussions and activities around passion, equity, the Sustainable Development Goals, social media and social good, and global connectedness just to name a few.
What was the impact of the Girl Rising experience on your students?
I think many of them were shocked by the stories we viewed and discussed. Many didn't realize that education is not a right for many people in the world. Many didn't realize the living situation or conditions for people around the world. Many didn't realize that slavery was a reality for people, including children, around the world. Girl Rising was an eye opening experience for many of my students.
Did the experience of teaching Girl Rising affect your teaching process in any way? If so, how?
Girl Rising is going to have a fundamental change to my teaching. This film and lessons touched my soul. In the chapters, I saw many of my own students. I was emotional watching. It is now a part of me, my passion, my lessons. This will continue to be the culminating project for this unit and a point of discussion for students finding their own passion and purpose.
Will you recommend Girl Rising to your colleagues?
I am recommending it to anyone who will listen. I tell them Girl Rising can be used in so many ways across the curriculum. It can touch geography, math (data), science (educating girls is one of the best ways to help the environment), language arts (persuasive writing, reading informational text, etc), technology (digital leadership), art (art for change), music (a study of the music of revolution and change). It can be used by everyone and will engage and inform your students.
I am planning on making it part of my social media, I am presenting on it at conferences, I am going to use it in afterschool clubs that I advise, and I am planning on hosting a screening in my district. I am also sharing it on my podcast Teacher Nerdz.