Secondary citizenship - Know the score

24th October 2008 at 01:00
Creating adverts for the millenium development goals got pupils thinking about global issues, say Jon Harris and Catherine Johnson

Bob Geldof champions them. World leaders have been talking about them. But how can you increase pupils' knowledge about the millennium development goals?

This series of six lessons was taught to Year 8. Pupils are put in groups and asked to create an advertising campaign about one of the eight millennium development goals.

The goals are to:

- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

- Achieve universal primary education.

- Promote gender equality and empower women.

- Reduce child mortality.

- Improve maternal health.

- Combat HIV and Aids, malaria and other diseases.

- Ensure environmental sustainability.

- Develop a global partnership for development.

Pupils were told that their advertising campaigns must include real case studies, show evidence of imagination, creativity, good presentation and make suggestions as to how their goal can be achieved.

Pupils were then given a starter pack about the goals, but from then on were responsible for their own research. We booked a technology suite so that they could make use of the internet.

The adverts they created ranged from the visual, to the written, to those using technology, and included letters, shocking facts, poetry and striking images.

In the final lesson, they showed their campaign to another group, and their peers assessed how well they'd done, based on the criteria.

Initially it took some pupils a while to realise that responsibility for the success of the task lay with them. After that they all got involved, and enjoyed the team work, the freedom to be creative and the competitive element of assessing another group's work.

Throughout the task, teachers assessed pupils on how well they developed their 5 Rs: responsibility, resilience, reflectiveness, reasoning and resourcefulness. Pupils who had best demonstrated each of the 5Rs during the lessons were nominated. Their names were announced in assembly, and they had an extra non-uniform day - something that goes down well.

Catherine Johnson is key stage 3 citizenship co-ordinator at Cheslyn Hay Sports and Community High School in the West Midlands. Jon Harris is assistant head.

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