Thank you for your interest, Shari!
For 15 years (up until last June when the program ended) I was the head instructor for the SEED Program, funded by USAID, administered through Georgetown University in DC and offered at a few sites in the US. My program was at Palo Alto College in San Antonio. Each year one or more groups of 20 teachers from rural areas were chosen by their governments to study in the US for a year and return to be change agents for their communities. We focused on the teachers and their own creativity as the best resources for their schools that often lacked books, electricity, potable water, safety, etc. With them we found ways to use the natural environment, their own histories and cultures, and simple and recycled materials to teach all the subjects. The pictures show a few examples. (1) We investigated ecological issues using activities from Project Wild and other resources. This a game called, "Baby Turtle's Challenge." Some players are baby turtles and others are predators/problems the turtles must overcome in order to survive 10 years and then reproduce. (We saved many, many bottle tops, old blocks, etc., for our games.) (2) These are plane and solid shapes we made, explored and compared, using drinking straws and string. (3) One of our math teachers showed them how to create many math manipulatives, such as this abacus constructed from pony beads and popsicle sticks. (4) This is me! We had an active approach to reading. For this lesson, we read "Anansi, the Spider," created spider costumes from trash bags and adding machine tape, and then danced to "Mbube" by Miriam Makeba to retell the story.(5) The last picture is from another program of ours, New World Kids, offered after school in Dallas by Big Thought teachers. We provide the curriculum and teacher training. This group made "fancy hats" and "twirly sticks" from newspaper and other recycled papers. Check out newworldkids.org for more about this program.