Learning Through Teaching - And Connecting Our Community

In the past, Town School has had a wonderful club called Kiva Council that helps our community re-lend the money we have earned over the years.  However, a new schedule and less access to 7th and 8th graders made this nearly impossible this year. I struggled with how to deal with this issue for many months, feeling bad about the $1200 sitting in our account, and even worse the following month as more money was deposited.  With so many worthy borrowers on Kiva, we needed to come up with a plan.

The 2nd graders were eager to buy our product and eager to learn about Kiva.  Part of their curriculum in 2nd grade is Change Makers and this seemed like a natural connection.  So I visited the 2nd graders this Monday and taught them a little about Kiva and our school's connection to the non - profit.  Concepts covered briefly were:

  • Borrowing

  • Needs vs Wants

  • Access to Money

  • Change Makers

  • 6th Grade Businesses and their purpose

But the real fun wasn't in the meeting I had with these boys, but rather in the subsequent activity planned with the 6th graders and 2nd graders.  The 6th graders visited the 2nd grade classroom, created small groups and shared their knowledge with the 2nd graders.  Then, they made loans. Watching them work together, connect with borrowers and make hard decisions, was amazing. Here is the form we used:)

Here is how some 6th graders described the experience:

The second graders were really excited to make a loan, one of them even wanted to make a loan when he goes home. They were so excited they were trying to make more loans with me. I had a tough time splitting the time for the IPad with the second graders.

I really liked working with the 2nd graders because they were eager and wanted to make a loan. I think it was a great lesson to the 2nd graders to connect with people not only outside our school but all around the world. It was a great experience and I can't wait to do this with the 3rd graders.

I think it was a good experience working with the 2nd graders because it was something new I don't think I have done before. I also thought it was important that the 2nd graders learned about Kiva for later years when they get a little more involved. They also learned more about how they are helping the world with every product they buy and the process the money goes through. At first, my buddies were a little wild and hard to control, but after we started choosing borrowers they became easier to control because they were interested. It was very fun working with the 2nd graders and I think both grades learned a lot.

It was fun to see how the second graders chose loans and connected with the borrower. It was also fun to hear that when they went home they would ask their parents to set up an account for them. It was a lot easier than expected.

As you can see the boys learned a lot and are excited to do the same activity with 3rd graders in late April. In addition, they saw an increase in sales on Friday from 2nd graders, as boys knowledge of "why" to buy increased.  Well done!