World citizens of the future

23rd February 2001 at 00:00
LEARNING GLOBAL LESSONS: 50 Literacy Hours. By Joanna Price. ActionAid. pound;20. LOCAL CITIZEN; Global Citizen. By Margot Brown and Diana Durie. Christian Aid. pound;12.99 plus 50p p+p.

Children interact with the wider world every day, through television, websites and travel. To prepare them for this, books with words like "global" and "citizen" in the title would seem the perfect choice.

Learning Global Lessons: 50 Literacy Hours is a non-fiction resource crammed with interesting activities and photocopiable worksheets and supported by 20 photo-cards. Its step-by-step approach will ensure that even new teachers can confidently deliver global education through good literacy hour techniques. The more experienced will relish adapting and using the wealth of ideas they find.

The five sections each investigate an issue in Bangladesh or Uganda by means of a different technique then applied to a related issue in UK children's lives. My favourite is persuasive writing, which introduces campaigning methods used in Bangladesh to help landless people, and then encourages children to create their own campaign to counteract bullying.

Many activities are based on a method f teaching adult literacy that is highly successful in the developing world, called Reflect, using graphics to introduce key words and concepts. The ideas sit easily with literacy hour and thinking skills approaches. By focusing on solutions as well as problems, "over here" as well as "over there", this resource pack not only brings the global dimension into literacy hour - it provides excellent active global citizenship material as well.

Local Citizen; Global Citizen is an adaptation of The People G.R.I.D., published in 1977 by Oxfam and Cockpit Arts Workshop. The fashion world may be reclaiming the 1970s but does the same apply to teaching materials? This 64-page teacher's guide with photocopiable worksheets has three units, covering growing up, language and fair trade. Each unit moves from local to global by means of simulations and follow-up activities, illustrated with case studies.

It is always useful to look at old ideas, and there are many old favourites here. But this resource feels too unsophisticated to attract new audiences, and old hands are probably already doing it.

Gillian Temple is head of schools at the Commonwealth Institute.

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