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Global Voices Secondary Activities: Rebuilding Liberia

Global Voices Secondary Activities: Rebuilding Liberia

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Published by takepart
This is the educational resource for secondary classrooms to accompany "Liberian Diaspora Returns Home to Rebuild" (http://www.takepart.com/news/2010/10/11/liberian-diaspora-returns-home-to-rebuild), a column by Craig and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free the Children.
This is the educational resource for secondary classrooms to accompany "Liberian Diaspora Returns Home to Rebuild" (http://www.takepart.com/news/2010/10/11/liberian-diaspora-returns-home-to-rebuild), a column by Craig and Marc Kielburger, founders of Free the Children.

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Published by: takepart on Oct 11, 2010
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Global Voices Information Sheet
 Liberia
 
Courtesy ofwww.bbc.co.uk 
Liberia: A Brief History
 
Founding:
Liberia was founded in 1822 as a place where freed slaves were returnedfrom America. It gained independence in 1847. It should be noted most of the freedslaves were born in America and their heritage came from other parts of Africa. Theybecame known as Americo-Liberians.
 
First Civil War:
From 1989, Liberia began a civil war between government forces andthe National Patriotic Front of Liberia, headed by Charles Taylor. The war killed nearly200,000 people and caused millions of refugees to flee. This continued until 1996, whenTaylor was elected president.
 
 
Second Civil War:
Taylor won the presidential campaign largely due to terrorizingpeople. He committed many human rights crimes against his people. And, he is said tohave supported forces in Sierra Leone, trading weapons for diamonds, and have usedchild soldiers. Opposition to Taylor started almost immediately. The war restarted in1997, lasting until 2003.
 
 
Present:
In 2003, Charles Taylor resigned his presidency, ending the war and fleeinginto Nigeria. He was eventually turned over to the International Criminal Court and iscurrently being tried for war crimes. In 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected Presidentof Liberia. She is the first elected female head of state for Africa.
 Key Terms
 
altruistic –
unselfishly concerned for or devoted to the welfare of others
 
 
civil war –
a
 
war between parties, factions or groups within the same country
 
opportunism –
taking advantage of opportunities and circumstances
 
 
patriotic –
a person who vigorously supports his or her country and its way of life
 
 
telecommunications –
the science of technology and communications
 
For more information on the history of Liberia view the interactive history athttp://www.guardian.co.uk/flash/0,5860,988886,00.html If students are interested learning more about the rebuilding of Liberia, encourage them to read,
This Child Will Be Great: Memoir of a Remarkable Life by Africa’s First Woman President 
by Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
 
 
2
Global Voices Secondary Educator Resources
Themes and Course Connections
Immigration, emigration, refugees, diversity, culture, multiculturalism, citizenship, familyheritage, inclusion
Course Connections: Canadian and World Studies, English, Global Issues, Geography,History
Materials
Chart paper
Markers
Computers and internet
Specific Expectations and Learning Goals
Students will:
Learn about refugees
Take a critical look at media sources
Participate in active class discussions
Research their cultural heritage
Write a memoir
Plan a lesson on diversity to be taught to an elementary school class
Knowledge and Understanding
1. Pack your Bags (estimated time: 10 minutes)a. Explain to students that in this exercise they will attempt to put themselves, atleast imaginatively, in the shoes of a refugee. From this activity, students shouldunderstand that refugees are generally not able to plan their migration inadvance; consequently, they end up ill-prepared to face the incredibly difficultsituations ahead of them.b. Tell students that they will be given two minutes to gather their belongings,whatever they choose, since they are being forced from their house andcommunity, and will most likely not return. During these two minutes students willbrainstorm and write down what they should take. (Teacher note: you can shoutout distractions like taking 10 seconds to lock the door, etc.)
Note to Educators:
The following activities are designed to stimulate a current events discussion. Generative in nature,these questions can be a launching point for additional assignments or research projects.Teachers are encouraged to adapt these activities to meet the contextual needs of their classroom.In some cases, reading the article with students may be appropriate, coupled with reviewing theinformation sheet to further explore the concepts and contexts being discussed. From here, teacherscan select from the questions provided below. Activities are structured to introduce students to theissues, then allow them to explore and apply their learnings. Extension and conclusion activities areincluded to challenge students and finally, encourage them to reflect on the issues at hand.Since these activities are designed as discussions rather than formal lessons, assessment strategiesare not included.
 
 
3c. From there, lead a discussion on the lists that have been created and theircontent by asking:i. What did you take with you? Why?ii. Why did you think you would need these things?iii. Did you take identification/documentation with you? Why would you needthis? If you did not bring this, how can you prove who you are?iv. Was there anything you left behind that you wish you had brought withyou?v. Did you choose to bring any sentimental belongings with you?vi. How did this activity make you feel?d. Ask students to compare this activity to what they think refugees experiencewhen they are forced to flee their country because they fear for their safety or arein search of a better life.2. What is a Refugee? (estimated time: 15 minutes)a. Write the word refugee on the board and ask students to give their ideas of whata refugee is. Record their responses.b. As a class define refugee.c. Divide the class into small groups.d. Ask each group to research the following information:i. What causes a person to become a refugee?ii. Where would they choose to go after they have left their home country?iii. Looking at the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which of theserights may be violated as related to refugees?iv. What happens to a refugee when they reach a new country? Whatdifficulties do they face?e. When the groups have finished their research, ask them to share their findingswith the class.3. Invite a guest speaker from the Historica-Dominion Institute Passages to Canadaprogram(http://www.passagestocanada.com/en/)who will share with the class theirexperiences in their native countries and the trials they encountered prompting theirdeparture as refugees to Canada and their experiences here as newly arrivedimmigrants.
 
Thinking
1. Read the Global Voices Column independently (estimated time: 10 minutes)a. Reflection:i. Ask students to record point-form notes in response to the article.ii. Ask students to record five questions that they are unsure of from theirinitial reading of the article.iii. Make sure that students do not record a plot summary; instead, ask thatthey address new things that they learned and questions that they have.2. Media Literacy (estimated time: 10 minutes)a. Ask each student to perform an OPVL on the Global Voices column.i. Origin: what is the source of this column?ii. Purpose: why was this column written?iii. Value: what are the facts and statistics in this column that give it value?iv. Limitations: whose perspective is the column written from, does thiscause limitations?b. When this is complete, bring the class back together and discuss studentanswers.

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