Educators around the globe are responding to the United Nations’ call to action: to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. If we are going to reach these goals by 2030, we need to incorporate them into our classrooms today. By raising awareness of these key global issues, students can help achieve these goals and create real change in their lifetime.
We can help students see the real-world implications of these goals through mathematical word problems. Using true information from statistics and case studies found on World’s Largest Lesson, you can create word problems that address mathematical standards and Global Goals. Here’s an example from a Grade 5 unit on measurement that requires students to reflect on Global Goal #6: Clean Water and Sanitation, by connecting to a girl their age and the implications of children not being able to attend school because they need to get water for their family.
This word problem could spark a discussion about how to help, and how to support organizations like Water for South Sudan.
Here’s another example of a 2-part word problem that raises awareness and offers a solution for Global Goal #1: No Poverty.
Even the littles can learn about and apply the Global Goals in math, too! Here’s a word problem for Kindergarten, focused on Geometry standards:
Incorporating the UN Global Goals into your math curriculum doesn’t require a lot of additional planning – but it can have a lasting and meaningful impact for your students. As you plan your next lesson, think about how the word problems could be revised to #TeachSDGs and support students in reaching these essential goals.