What do we need?

What do we need? What is the difference between a want and a need? These are the questions Standard 3 will be tackling over the next few weeks in History.


In History, Standard 3 have been learning about families. They have learned about what a family is and the different jobs and roles of different family members. This week they started thinking about what the needs of a family are. When thinking about the needs of a family they had to think about what all people need to live a happy, healthy and safe life.

After brainstorming some things they think people need the students were put in the President's shoes. They were given 20 cards each containing a want or need. The students were informed that they were now the President of Tanzania. They only had enough money to give the people of Tanzania 16 of the cards. Thes student set to work deciding which things were real needs and which things they could do without. Most of the students gave up a stereo/iPad, holidays and candy first.


Once they had decided on their final 16, they were informed that in fact the government had only enough money to pay for 12 of the cards, and then finally, only 10. There was much moaning and groaning as the students had to make decisions about whether to keep playgrounds or bicycles, freedom from discrimination or freedom of religion.


George and Isaya's final 10 selection (Freedom from neglect and abuse, decent shelter, clothing, clean air, money, education, freedom to express one's opinion and be listened to, freedom to practice any religion, healthcare, nutritious food, clean water, playgrounds)

The students had to justify their final 10. Some students argued that while a bicycle was important to get around, an education helps you get a job so it's better. There was a lot of discussion about whether a playground or a TV was better for relaxing and there were services like healthcare and clean water that all students had in their top 10.


 Each group differed with what they selected as their final 10 however all students kept the following rights in their top 10:

  • The opportunity to practice your own religion
  • The opportunity to express your own opinion and be listened to
  • Education
  • Clean Air
  • Nutritious Food
  • Decent Shelter

The Standard 3 students then learned about The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We discussed that needs like education and healthcare are our rights as humans. It is important that our students understand their rights as well as understanding the difference between needs and wants.

Wanafunzi Questions

1. If you had to select 10 needs/rights what would they be?

2. Many of the students selected 'Money to spend as you like' as a need. Do you agree? Why or why not?

3. Why might a bicycle be a need in Tanzania or your own country?

4. Most of the students decided holidays were not important. The right to 'rest and leisure' is a human right. Why do you think it is?

Wanafunzi Lesson Ideas

Below are some lesson ideas for teachers to use. We also want to help you link this blog to the curriculum in your country. Our aim is for our Wanafunzi program to be integrated into your curriculum and hopefully make it easier for teachers to use in the classroom with students of all ages and abilities. Please email [email protected] if you have any suggestions or visit www.steventitoacademy.org/wanafunzi if you have further queries about our Wanafunzi program.

1. Complete the same activity with your students. Compare your results compared to the Standard 3 students at STA. Lead a discussion about why the results may vary within a class and between your school and STA. Please share your lesson with us. We'd love to see how your school may be the same or different. You could also watch this video.

2. Refer to 'Article 26' of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Discuss with your students why education is important. Brainstorm reasons that some children in the world don't go to school. Refer to the STA website to read stories about the experience of some of our students before coming to school at STA and a bit about the education problem in Tanzania. You could also share this video with your students. Students could research statistics about access to education worldwide and create a presentation.

3. Write each of the Human Rights on a piece of paper and have students illustrate by drawing a picture of that human right in action. Alternatively they could produce a short video on the chosen human right. You could also refer to the Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child to complete this activity.

Curriculum Links

Australian Curriculum - Year 6 - History

  • Experiences of Australian democracy and citizenship, including the status and rights of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, migrants, women and children
  • Who can be an Australian citizen, the formal rights and responsibilities, and shared values of Australian citizenship

 Australian Curriculum - Year 5 - Economics and Business

  • The difference between needs and wants and why choices need to be made about how limited resources are used
  • Identify alternative responses to an issue or event, and consider the advantages and disadvantages of preferring one to others



Do you like this post?
Steven Tito Academy