Recently I served as a judge on a panel considering the proposals of 5th graders for a fundraiser at their school. These kids combined a statistics and economics lesson with a writing assignment -- all for the purpose of raising money for charity.
The children surveyed schoolmates about what kind of fundraisers the community would prefer, analyzed the survey results, and then wrote persuasive essays, backed up by data, about why their proposal should be the one accepted over all the others. Options included a movie night, sports field day, a stuffed animal sale, and other things along those lines. The proposals were rendered anonymous by whiting out the authors’ names, and the panel of judges included parents, teachers, as well as kids from another class.
Later in the spring the kids will actually carry out the winning fundraiser and donate the proceeds to a charitable cause shown by the survey data to be one that the kids in the school care about a lot. Right now polar bears and global warming are the front-running causes. What a great piece of curriculum!