Elementary School India

Hope for a Bright Future

Objectives for Elementary School Students

  • Share the story of Pinki Sonkar and the documentary Smile Pinki.
  • Learn about how hard it is for with cleft lip/palate to attend school.
  • Understand the power of films and documentaries to promote good causes.
  • Involve students in Indian cultural celebrations.

Materials: Online access, modeling clay or putty

Build Background

(Duration: 30 min. - 1 hr.)

Introduce the topic of cleft lip/palate, showing students the video Our Model. Tell the students that the girl in the video is a real child, Pinki Sonkar, and share her success story by reading the Pinki's story.

Make Connections

(Duration: 1 - 2 hr.)

Show the students where India is on a map. Explain that in India, as well as in many other developing countries, millions of people live in poverty and do not have access to medical care. Pinki had to travel many miles on foot in order to get to the hospital where her operation took place. Research and discuss the Diwali festival, or "festival of lights," which is celebrated throughout India. Show the students some images of the candle lighting ceremony and explain how it symbolizes the triumph of good versus evil. Show that candle holders are made out of clay, and tell the students that they will make their own candle holders.

Class Project

(Duration: 2 hrs.)

Give students the modeling clay or putty and make candle holders like the ones used in Diwali. Have the students carry the candle holders during a short walk around the school premises and arrange them together before lighting a tea candle inside of them. After the celebration, each student will take his or her candle holder and give it to an adult in exchange for a small contribution to Smile Train. Take pictures of the event and post them on an online fundraising page along with student contributions.