Global Voices Information Sheet

The Barrack Young Controllers – Liberia’s Championship Team
Liberia: A Brief History Founding: Liberia was founded in 1822 as a place where freed slaves were returned from America. It gained independence in 1847. It should be noted most of the freed slaves were born in America and their heritage came from other parts of Africa. They became known as Americo-Liberians. x First Civil War: From 1989, Liberia began a civil war between government forces and the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, headed by Charles Taylor. The war killed nearly 200,000 and caused millions of refugees to flee. This continued until 1996, when Taylor was elected president. x Second Civil War: Taylor won the presidential campaign largely due to terrorizing people. He committed many human rights crimes against his people. And, he is said to have supported forces in Sierra Leone, trading weapons for diamonds, and have used child soldiers. Opposition to Taylor started almost immediately. The war restarted in 1997, lasting until 2003. x Present: In 2003, Charles Taylor resigned his presidency, ending the war and fleeing into Nigeria. He was eventually turned over to the International Criminal Court and is currently being tried for war crimes. In 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President of Liberia. She is the first elected female head of state for Africa. Soccer in the Developing World x Football (or soccer as we call it in North America) is the most popular sport across Africa. Most young people who live in poverty do not have money to buy a real ball. So, they often play in bare feet with balls made of old plastic bags and twine. x Each country’s football team is usually a great source of pride across the nation. x Watch the following clip from “Shameless Idealists” to find out what K’naan has to say about football in Africa. Key Terms x x x x x x x barrack – a building or group of buildings where soldiers live civil war – a war between parties, factions or groups within the same country demobilize – to discharge from military service infrastructure – the fundamental things that serve a country, city or area, such as roadways or schools recruiter – someone who seeks out and finds new players on a team

For more information on the history of Liberia view the interactive history at,5860,988886,00.html

Global Voices Elementary Educator Resources
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 the information sheet to further explore the concepts and contexts being discussed. From here, teachers can select from the questions provided below. Activities are structured to introduce students to the issues, then allow them to explore and apply their learnings. Extension and conclusion activities are included 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 strategies are not included.

Themes and Course Connections
  Sportsmanship, physical activity, cooperation, participation, social involvement, physical fitness Course Connections: Social Studies, Language and Physical Education

     Paper Markers Chart paper or blackboard Computers and internet Two soft balls

Specific Expectations and Learning Goals
Students will:  Participate in a cooperative game.  Learn the social and physical benefits of physical activity.  Research and learn about famous Canadian athletes.  Participate in active class discussions.  Refine their media literacy skills.  Use their imagination to invent a new sport.

Knowledge and Understanding
1. Over, Under: Cooperative Game (estimated time: 15 minutes) a. Divide the class into two teams. b. Have the teams line themselves up so that they have formed two parallel lines with each person facing the front of the room and the back of the person’s head in front of them. c. Place a sponge ball at the beginning of each line. d. Explain the rules of the game: i. Explain to the students that when you say “go”, the first person in each line needs to pick up the ball and pass it over their head to the person behind them. 2

ii. The second person in line must pass the ball between their legs to the third person behind them. Then the third person passes the ball over their head to the next person, and so forth in the same “over-under” pattern. iii. If the ball is dropped on the ground at any point it must be rolled back to the front of the line and the team must start again (this keeps the game from getting too rowdy). iv. At the very end of the line, the last person has to pass it forward in the same pattern as before. The first team that passes the ball back to the first person wins the game. e. Let the game begin! f. Once the game is complete, promote a discussion on team work and competition using the following suggested questions: i. What difficulties did your team run into during the course of the game? ii. Why do you think your team won/lost? iii. Why do you think one team won over the other? iv. What does it mean to be part of a team? v. What does it mean to compete against another team? vi. What makes someone a good team player? vii. What are the health benefits of physical activity? viii. What are the social benefits of physical activity? 2. Athletes (estimated time: 10 minutes) a. Ask students to list some famous athletes. Write suggestions on the board. b. Go down the list of athletes and ask the following questions: i. What sport does this athlete play? ii. What are they known for? iii. What makes them a good athlete? iv. Do you look up to this person? Why? v. What type of sacrifices do you think this person has made to become successful?

1. Read the Global Voices Column as a class (estimated time: 10 minutes) a. Discussion i. Ask the class to work together to retell the events of the column in their own words. ii. Ask students to explain how they felt while the column was being read. Did they feel sad? Why? Did they feel angry? Did they feel hopeful? Why? 2. Media Literacy (estimated time:15 minutes) a. On a piece of paper ask each student to write the heading Liberia Soccer Column at the top of the page. Underneath the heading, have them create a chart with two columns across and five rows down. b. In the first column, have them write the following questions: i. What is the title of this column? ii. Who is the author? iii. What is the purpose of the column? iv. What statistics or facts are listed in the column? v. Are there biases or obvious points of view? c. Have the students revisit the Global Voices column and fill in the chart answering the above questions. d. Discuss the student’s charts as a class. Address the reasons why it is important to understand the source and potential bias of a website of print resource offering news information. Explain that just because a source has a bias doesn’t mean it has no value. One of the traditional purposes of publications is to express 3

opinions and attempt to convince readers of their validity. Explain that this is why it’s important for each of them to form their own opinion while reading publications instead of agreeing with everything.

1. Benefits of Sport: Think, Pair, Share (estimated time: 15 minutes) a. Explain to students that they will be participating in a “think-pair-share” activity. b. Think-pair-share is a cooperative learning strategy that can promote and support higher-level thinking. Explain to the students that they will be given a question to think about independently, then they will pair up with another classmate to discuss their thinking and compare their viewpoints. Finally each pair will share their ideas with the class. c. Ask the students the following question and begin the activity: i. Thinking back to the Global Voices column, what benefits have the boys in Liberia experienced because of their involvement on the soccer team? What path might their lives have taken had they not become involved in this team sport? 2. Profile a Canadian Athlete: Biography (estimated time: continuous project) a. Explain to students that athletes play a significant role in our society; in most cases, they have worked very hard in order to experience their successes. b. Ask students to choose a Canadian athlete that they admire and explain that they will be creating a biography on this athlete. Ask: i. What is a biography? (Teacher Note: a biography is a detailed description or account of someone's life and the times, which is told by that same person. A biography is more than a list of impersonal facts [education, work, relationships, and death]; it also portrays the subject's experience of those events). c. Have students create their biography using the following steps: i. Choose your athlete. ii. Research your athlete. Use resources such as books, the internet and newspaper archives to gather information. iii. Get the basics: your athlete’s place of birth, hometown, what sport they play, when they started in the sport. Emphasize any prominent family members and their particular contributions to the subject’s life, etc. iv. Outline major events in the athlete’s life: education, relationships, and jobs. v. Start writing! vi. Write a rough draft using your research as inspiration. Follow a chronological order of the person’s life if possible, and include noteworthy accomplishments, events, tragedies, successes and more. vii. Read and revise your draft. viii. Submit the biography to your teacher. d. When the students have completed their biographies, ask each student to present their athlete to the class, giving a brief overview of their life achievements and describing what they admire about their chosen athlete. e. Allow for a reading session in the classroom so that students can swap biographies and learn about different athletes.

1. Create a Sport (estimated time: 20 minutes) a. Divide the class into small groups and have each group invent a fun, new kind of team sport or game. b. Ask students to explain: i. Name of the sport. ii. Equipment involved. iii. The rules of the game. 4


iv. The benefits of the game (physical, social etc.) v. Why students should play this game. Ask each group to present their new sport to the class, offering a small demonstration.

Additional Resources
In addition to the above lesson plans, you may want to share some additional resources with your students. Listed below are some links to useful online resources: Vancouver Olympics - Athletes Canada - Stephen Covey Video about Kyambadde Stone from Uganda


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