Windmills and Blogs: The Impact of Technology in Rural Peru
- South America, Peru
- Grades 6-8
- Cross-Cultural Understanding, Language Arts & Literature
Students will view a Peace Corps Volunteer's slide show and discuss the uses of two technologies—windmills and computers—in a Peruvian village. This lesson encourages students to explore the role of technology in society and reflect on the role of technology in their own community.
Information and photos
- To name technology/ies in their community and in rural Peru
- To identify two or more beneficial ways technology meets the needs of individuals and communities
- To locate Peru and other geographic regions of Peru on a map
- To recognize and accurately use a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases
- technology: a machine, piece of equipment, method, etc. that is created; the use of science in industry to invent useful things or to solve problems
- diverse: different from each other
- geographic/geography: having to do with or the natural features (such as rivers, mountains, etc.) of a place
- windmill: a structure that has parts which are turned around by the wind and that is used to produce power, pump water, etc
- agricultural: having to do with farming
- irrigation/irrigate: to supply (something, such as land) with water by using artificial means (such as pipes)
- arid: very dry, having very little rain or water
- foliage : the leaves of a plant or of many plants
- harvest: the season when crops are gathered from the fields or the activity of gathering crops
- malnourished: not eating enough food or not eating enough healthy food
- pervade: to spread through, get into or exist in all parts of (something)
- information technology: refers to any type of technology that moves/transfers information (voice, video, data); includes both hardware (computer, video camera, cellphone, etc.) and software (programs) that are used to store, retrieve, and process information.
- component: part of something that makes it function or work
- disassemble: to take apart
- web log/blog: a website in which hosts and their guests can post stories about their daily lives, opinions, and photographs
Technology, Needs and Benefits chart
- picture word cards
- word definition cards
Define technology for students. Write a T-chart on the board, overhead or chart paper (for reuse): one side labeled "Miramar, Peru", the other side labeled "United States" (or more locally, the town and state you reside in). Ask for/give examples of technology in your community (e.g., solar panels, mobile phones, computers, tractors) and write them in the U.S. side of the T-chart.
- Show pictures/photos of different types of technology.
- Highlight how technology is also relative to the time period in which it was developed. Example: the wheel was technology during its time (5,000-10,000 years ago!).
- Explain how all technology does not require electricity or gasoline.
- Using a world map, have students locate South America, then Peru. Ask the students what they know about Peru. Provide some information about the geography, culture of the country and photos.
- Revisit the T-chart. Star or mark the technologies listed that students think may also exist in Peru.
- Identify Kurtis Shank as a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer. Explain his role working in international development and supporting a Peruvian community by introducing information technology.
Preview vocabulary (options):
- Using vocabulary picture/word cards, review definitions: pronounce the word, share picture illustrating the word and enact a physical gesture that represents the word. (ex. malnourished = holding stomach as though hungry, acting physically weak). Have students say the word and repeat the gesture.
- Distribute vocabulary word cards and definition cards. Have students talk with each other to find and correctly match words with definitions. Discuss results and actual definitions.
- Write vocabulary words scattered across the board, or tape vocabulary cards with word side showing. Display both picture and word sides of vocabulary cards for students who have difficulty reading.
- Divide class into two equal teams. Have one student from each team stand with "fly swatter" (or ruler or long stick) facing the board. Say definition of a vocabulary words on the board.
- Students race to find the word on the board. First student to hit the word with their "fly swatter" gets one point for their team. If neither student hits the right word, the next students are up and no points are awarded.
- Have student who finds the word first use the word correctly in a sentence or give a synonym for an extra point. If the student cannot use the word correctly in a sentence or give a synonym, the other student may try in order to win a point for her/his team.
- View the slide show Explore Back-Country Peru in its entirety.
- Write vocabulary words on the board, or tape vocabulary cards with word side showing (Display both picture and word sides of vocabulary cards for students who have difficulty reading).
- Read the definition aloud, show definition card to students and have them select the correct word . Have students use the word correctly in a sentence (Help students by narrowing word choices to two possibilities).
Preview Technology, Needs and Benefits chart
- Review the definition of technology and have students brainstorm some examples or display T-chart from prior lesson. Highlight the technologies students had selected as possibly existing in both the United States and Peru.
- Emphasize for students that they will need to write down examples of different types of technology from the slide show.
- View selected parts of the slide show Explore Back-Country Peru (View slide show 1:12-3:58, windmills ; 5:02-end, computers, internet ). Depending on language level of students, stop slide show in key areas for more in-depth explanation and questions. Have students identify two or more examples of technology in Peru and add it to the T-chart (other technologies mentioned in Peru: plow, irrigation ).
After the slide show, using student examples of technology in Peru, discuss the following and complete the Technology, Needs and Benefits chart:
- A need the technology fulfills
- A benefit of the technology
- First complete for technologies in Peru, then complete for technologies in the USA/locally
- To include a broader range of technologies, refer to the T-chart from the prior lesson
- Discuss with students: Are technology needs and benefits the same or different in Peru compared to the United States?
- In pairs or small groups of 3-4 students, have students go back to the slide show and create a narrative using the vocabulary words and information they learned. Students may write a short script for the slide show, or a single sentence to accompany each slide.
Frameworks & Standards
- Technology provides a means for communities throughout the world to learn from one another.
- Technology has many benefits for society.
- What are ways individuals and communities are using technology to improve their lives?
- How does technology fill a need and benefit society?
PreK-12 English Language Proficiency Standards
Standard 1: Communicate for social, intercultural, and instructional purposes within the school setting.
Standard 4: Communicate information, ideas, and concepts necessary for academic success in the area of science.
National Science Education Standards
Content Standard E: Science and Technology
Content Standard F: Science in Personal and Social Perspectives
- Understanding about science and technology
- Science and technology in society
- Populations, resources, and environments
National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Theme I: Culture
- Human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture
Theme III : People, Places, and Environments
- Understand and examine the relationships between human populations and the physical world
Theme XIII: Science, Technology, and Society
- Influence on social and cultural change
Theme IX: Global Connections
- Accelerated changes at the local, national, and international levels
U. S. National Geography Standard
Essential Element I: The World in Spatial Terms
- Use maps and other geographic representations to acquire, process and report information
- Analyze spatial organization of people, places and environments
Essential Element II: Places and Regions
- Physical and human characteristics of places
- Using a Map of Peru and giving cardinal directions from Lima, have students locate the following places mentioned in Kurtis Shank's video: Machu Picchu (near Cusco), Cordillera Blanca (near Ancash), Huacachina (near Ica), Piura, Lake Titicaca. (Example: from Lima, north about 300km = Cordillera Blanca/ Ancash )
- Have the students start a blog about new technology , technology at school, or issues in their community .
- Have students conduct a classroom, grade level or school-wide survey of technology used by students and graph the results.
- Have students construct paper windmills (students may know these as pinwheels): Windmill worksheet, Windmill template.