Before our sophomore students dove into reading Of Mice and Men, they investigated different economic depressions from around the world. Students researched the causes, effects, and emotional responses to economic depressions in countries like Chile, Mexico, Greece, Argentina, Ukraine, Serbia and parts of Sub-Saharan Africa. After conducting their research, students then created posters to share what they had learned and included pictures that depicted the emotional responses people felt around the world.
Students displayed their work in a class gallery walk and took turns visiting each country’s unique struggle, keeping in mind what human nature would drive us to do when placed in such difficult situations. Having now finished the novel, students are revisiting the idea that money, or lack thereof, can affect more than your pockets; it can affect your heart and intentions, especially when it comes to seeking power. Here is what some of them said during their reflection: “America isn’t the only place that is going through financial hardship. Why aren’t we helping each other if we are all going through hardships?” “I can’t believe the average person in Africa only makes $1.25 a day and hasup to 8 members in their family! Now, that’s sacrifice.”