Real life stories and experiences

11th November 2005 at 00:00
Change the World in 8 Steps Oxfam pound;15 Global Gateway website British Council, free

Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) agreed by world leaders in 2000 gained more recent exposure with the Make Poverty History concerts and the associated G8 summit. They deserve a higher profile in schools, and geography could make good use of the interest young people have in the well-being of others. To this end, Oxfam have published an activity and poster pack for key stages 23.

Change the World in 8 Steps is a colourful and thoughtfully planned learning pack, which contains nine A2-sized posters. Each poster focuses on one MDG. On the front is an eye-catching image of children at school or play, or with their family.

On the reverse are four A4 panels. These either inform about the goal or issue, provide evidence from the life of a particular child, or have activities which help explore the issue. These activities include card-sorting and directed research to understand causes or why the issue arises, such as why school is important, but why many children are unable to go to school.

They range from comparing the learners' and other children's experiences, such as in the health of babies and of women, to realising the difference between political promises and actuality in providing development aid.

The British Council is managing the Global Gateway website, created to celebrate the current UK Presidency of the European Union. It has the potential to support individual classes or curriculum development; it could even lead to funding for exchange-visits.

If you wish to find out what the presidency means, or about broad policies or EU history, then you will find what you want. There are lesson plans, focused on various age or curriculum groups. You may want ideas to plan a European Day of Languages or to study the "EU and citizenship".

There are games to play, such as singing EU-member anthems or making a jigsaw puzzle of the 25 countries. There are also national and regional maps and facts. Well worth exploring.

Ian Selmes is a geography teacher at Oakham School, Rutland

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