How to Teach: World Food Day

 ,  |  Updated: April 19, 2013 16:59 IST

How to Teach: World Food Day

The Guardian Teacher Network has resources this week, at harvest festival time, to help teach pupils about hunger around the world.

Nearly one is six people around the world do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life - most of them living in developing countries.

It is World Food Day on 16 October as well as harvest festival assembly time, so the Guardian Teacher Network has a bounty of resources to share that introduce and delve deeper into the challenges and injustices that people face over food.

Music can be used as a tool to explore global issues with these resources developed by Oxfam in partnership with Sing Up. First see this introduction to the lessons using a collection of songs about food and farming from around the world. The resources are designed for years 3-6, but can be adapted for younger pupils. Warm ups has great ideas on getting singing lessons off to a good start. Listen to One man went to mow and Bassez down, a traditional Caribbean calypso on harvests, and the rousing Mama, will you buy me a banana (you can find the sheet music here). Tue Tue, a traditional Ghanaian song about harvesting, is another song that would fit perfectly into harvest festival assemblies and can be used to explore food and farming in Ghana. Take things further with Oxfam's Oxjam - the charity's month-long music festival, which runs all through October.

Oxfam has also developed a powerful set of resources in response to the food crisis in the Sahel region of west Africa, where a combination of poor rains and sharply rising food prices this year have placed 18 million people at risk of hunger, with six million already hungry. Find an assembly PowerPoint on dealing with disasters, focusing on the west Africa food crisis, together with an assembly script and an action guide with practical ideas on what young people can do to help. Also see some excellent resources as part of Oxfam's Food for Thought citizenship project.

To mark this year's World Food Day, ActionAid has put together teaching resources to help learners explore the question of whether there is enough food for everyone. ActionAid's PowerPoint for KS2/upper primary school-aged pupils asks: Who produces food in Africa and Asia? Why do people go hungry? Learners will find out more about the lives of Reuben, Mariam and Mukta and how their families are coping with food shortages caused by droughts and floods. The KS3/secondary school PowerPoint designed for citizenship and geography lessons asks: Are we eating too much meat? What is sustainable farming? Learners get to debate some big questions about food and find out how young people in other countries are coping with challenges such as drought, floods and food shortages.

Schools can also order a free set of World Food Day posters from ActionAid to help students investigate flash floods in Bangladesh, drought in Kenya and sustainable farming in Malawi. The posters can be used alongside the KS2 and KS3 PowerPoints to explore and debate the issues raised in more depth.

Filmclub have put together a thought-provoking World Food Day film season and teaching guide to promote awareness of and discussion about global food production.

The World Food Programme has developed a set of cross-curriculum lessons researching hunger through Molly's eyes - a girl from Kenya -which dig deep into the multifaceted causes of hunger. The accompanying lesson Molly's World Help End World Hunger looks specifically at the power of school meals.

The World Food Programme is also holding a live tweetup on Tuesday 9 October from 14.30 to 15.30 to discuss how to solve global hunger , giving students and teachers the opportunity to ask questions of world experts on the subject. Tweet @WFP_Students with the #solvehunger to get involved.

The Geography Collective (which is a group of 35 guerrilla geographer practitioners, mostly geography teachers) has shared a set of Mission Explore resources containing six lessons packed with missions that challenge children to think creatively and critically about where their food comes from and how to cook it. Download Grow, Harvest, Cook, Eat, Food waste and Soil.

To order Mission: Explore Food for £15 (RRP £20), visit or call 0330 333 6846.

Concern has this succinct teaching guide to the issues surrounding hunger, and also a more in-depth look at the subject here for teachers and sixth-form students. Also see Tackling hunger in Kenya in pictures, a Guardian gallery by award-winning photographer Gideon Mendel from Concern Worldwide who has captured the stories of some of the families affected by hunger in Kenya - from nomadic pastoralists to urban slum-dwellers.

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• Join the Guardian Teacher Network community for free access to teaching resources and an opportunity to share your own. There are also thousands of teaching, leadership and support jobs on the site; visit

Picture: A little girl receives free food from a distribution point on World Food Day in 2010 in Islamabad, Pakistan. Photograph: Anjum Naveed/AP



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