Do the selected communities in India, Tunisia, Peru and Ukraine support quality of life for their members in mostly similar or mostly different ways?
In this challenge, which might serve as a culminating activity to the inquiry, students explore similarities and differences in the ways in which the four communities in India, Peru, Tunisia and Ukraine help their citizens enjoy quality of life. Review with the class the assembled information about life in the various communities. Assign pairs of students to focus on one of the previously-identified factors in the context of two of the communities. These contributing factors might include:
Food and water
Clothing and shelter
Friends and family
Job or source of money to buy necessary things
Schooling to be able to read and write
Freedom to act and ability to get around (transportation)
Opportunities to do interesting things
Safety and protection
Direct students to look for similarities and differences in the two communities for their assigned factor. Before students undertake the task, discuss the notion of degrees of difference. Using simple paired examples (e.g., travelling by motorcycle and golf cart; by bicycle and airplane; by car and van), invite students to decide whether the examples are very different, somewhat different or almost alike. You may want to adapt the chart and strategies for Comparing Differences (Support Material) to structure this activity. After some discussion, ask students to decide for their assigned factor the degree of difference between the two communities. Suggest a scale ranging from "very different" (there are no or very few features that are the same in the two communities) to "nearly the same" (have many or several features that are the same). Arrange for students to share their findings with the class. Make a list of the contributing factors and record students' conclusions for each community.
Conclude this activity by asking students to determine, overall, whether the ways of life in the four communities are more alike or different. Help students appreciate that there are underlying commonalities among the ways in which people in various communities live and also that significant differences may exist.