Middle School Philippines

Pay It Forward

Objectives for Middle School Students

  • Raise awareness about income inequality between developed and developing countries.
  • Show how activism and fundraising can help conditions for children in the Philippines.
  • Engage students in a collaborative project, donating their time or effort to raise funds for Smile Train.
  • Illustrate the power of networks and make projections about potential results.

Materials: A chipped dish/mug, online access, drawing compass, markers, Smile Train patient Jhoanna Galut's story

Build Background

(Duration: 30 min. - 1 hr.)

Describe what causes a country to be classified as "developed" or "developing." Ask students to make a list of developed countries, and those that are developing. (You may wish to point them to the CIA World Factbook.) Compare the lists and share them on the board. Brainstorm different ways developed countries can help developing countries. Explain the concept of cleft lip/palate and read Jhoanna Galut's story. Have students think about their own social network, and how many contacts it would take for the whole class to raise $250 through small donations.

Make Connections

(Duration: 1 - 2 hr.)

Research what languages are spoken in the Philippines, and the average income. Show students the chipped mug/plate and explain that in Tagalog, the word "bingot" means both "cleft lip/palate" and a "chip" or "notch." Ask students to bring an old or chipped mug for next class. In groups, have the students make a social network map, drawing circles for themselves, and connecting them to five family members and/or friends. Students then should calculate how much money could be raised if each person donates $0.50, $1.00, or $2.00.

Class Project

(Duration: 2 hrs.)

Have students use markers to decorate their chipped mugs with the Tagalog word for smile, "ngiti," and a slogan for their fundraising campaign. During the next few days, they will contact people in their network map and ask them to "put" a donation for Smile Train into the mug. The goal is to raise $250 as a class to fund at least one operation. Donations can be made in person or online on the special Smile Train fundraising page created by the teacher.