Media Unit Plan

The demographics of my pretend school:

When you are about to create a unit, it is important to know the audience you will be teaching. Where in one classroom, teaching about the correlation between hiphop and poetry might be valuable, it might not have the same effect in different classroom. It is essential to adapt a lesson so that it is successful in any classroom. Although it might be more successful with some kids, it is important as a teacher to create a lesson that will be valuable for most kids. Your specific audience can depend on the age and grade level of the children you are teaching, their cultural background, their socio-economic background, the area that you are teaching in, and the type of school you are part of. All these factors influence and shape the type of lesson plans a teacher will create.

Children learning through media in an urban setting

Children learning through media in an urban setting

As mentioned above, it is essential to create lessons that are appropriate for a specific classroom. If I had to teach my unit in the ideal settings, it would be in a grade six classroom. I feel that my unit would be more successful if I taught it to an older level. I would think that this lesson would be equally successful in a high school, however I am majoring in Elementary education and I would like to create a lesson that I could utilize in my own classroom. The reason why I would use this lesson in a cycle three level two classroom, is that these lessons would be most successful with an audience that is developing their critical thinking. Also, some of the content is not suitable or appropriate for younger grade levels. We would be situated in an urban setting in Montreal, catering to middle class families. It would be a medium sized school in population. The type of clientele would range from many different ethnic backgrounds. This would be beneficial for the lessons because the students would already have a foundation about social justice and different issues in the world. In addition, the different cultures would help create a fruitful environment for learning because all the students would be bringing different opinions and beliefs into the classroom. Although some teachers might see this as a challenge, I feel that this is the most interesting type of classroom. A classroom where students are free to talk about and discuss their difference nurtures an environment where students will do some valuable and real life learning. Furthermore, I would love to teach in an alternative school setting, where students are encouraged to be creative, develop their identity, and share their ideas and strengths. Ideally, this would be in a public school, because as a teacher, I believe in the public system and I think that it is important to buy what you sell.

I am pretty sure this school does not exist in Montreal, or maybe anywhere for that matter, but if I could teach anywhere, it would be in that type of school. Although homogeneous schools in the West Island can be interesting in their own way, I feel that for my professional and personal development, teaching in this ideal school would be the most beneficial.

Rationale:

Lesson planning can be a really interesting part of teaching. If you are a teacher that follows the Q.E.P. religiously and does not understand the impact he or she might have on a child’s life, lesson planning is just another tedious part of teaching. However, if you are the least bit creative, as a teacher, you can use lesson planning to open minds, open eyes, and inspire some of the children in your class. This goes for creating lesson plans in our university classes. We can create lessons just for marks, following the guidelines, and producing work that is totally uninspiring. On the other hand, we, as students, can use this as an opportunity to produce material and resources that force us to think critically about our world, our role as future teachers, and our place in society. In addition, we can use this work in our future classroom and help kids understand the world through different, more critical eyes. Lesson planning can be used as our way to translate important messages to students in creative, interactive, and fun ways. Students can be doing valuable learning, in other words real and concrete learning, about politics, social justice and world issues in the regular classroom. This will allow students to become critical thinkers throughout their career as learners. Furthermore, incorporating and including media into these lesson plans is not only imperative to effective education, but it is unavoidable. Creating lessons that do not include media and cater to young children would not be effective lessons. Children are submerged with media everyday and the best way to make real learning happen is to incorporate the child’s life and surroundings into the lesson. If that is through music, movies, videos, smartboards, or the world wide web, using these mediums will inspire students to learn whatever you are teaching them.

Many kids in North America live sheltered lives when it comes to being aware of world issues. This is partly due to the fact that many parents are quite adamant about not allowing their children to see or hear what is going on in our world. Although I understand their reasoning as parents, I am also disappointed with their ignorance as a teacher. For this unit plan, I want create lessons that educate and inform children about social issues in our world. I decided to focus on war and how it affects children. Using the War Child organization as an influence and as inspiration, I wanted to create a unit plan that will instill passion and interest in my classroom. Throughout this unit, students will learn the effects and consequences of war not only on a society, but also on kids and their childhood. I will create lessons that will force students to think critically about the world they live in, and the effects that our lifestyle has on other countries. While doing this, students will be manipulating and utilizing different media throughout the unit. These lessons will completely correlate with social justice in the world. Students will be asked to deal with issues that are relevant and current in our world, and will be asked to think and react critically to these issues.

children-in-war

I chose this topic because these issues are real to me and are very close to my heart. Being of Palestinian/Lebanese decent, war is no stranger. My father’s family was exiled from Palestine when my father was just a little boy. They then moved, by foot, to Lebanon, where they were part of the lucky few that were able to acquire citizenship and a home there. They lived in Lebanon for several years, until war hit Lebanon in the 1970’s. Until this day, the Middle East is filled with turmoil, hate, anger, and divide. My family in Lebanon still lives in fear that any day now, a war will erupt again and will fill the streets with stones and ashes. I have seen many pictures and images of schools reduced to rubble, hundreds of children in Palestinian refugee camps, and orphan children. Unfortunately, I understood the effects and consequences of war at a young age. While growing up, I helped my mother send care packages to the Middle East and send Christmas gifts to an orphanage in Lebanon. My parents forced us to be socially aware at young ages, not by showing us sad and gruesome images of the war, but rather by instilling a passion in social justice and in doing good. I would like to use this unit to do the same in my classroom. There are over 40 wars being fought at the moment, and to completely ignore that is not only ignorant, but it is cowardly. Turning a blind eye and a deaf ear on the soldiers and crusaders of the world is one thing, but turning our backs on the children is something completely different. I hope to use this unit to make children more aware of the realities of war, not by showing disturbing images, but by creating lessons that have students thinking critically about their world.

Lesson 1: Our Connectionz to the World

Materials:

· Individual maps of the world

· Copy of “A day in the life of…”

· Coloured Stickers

Objectives:

In this lesson, students will be able to reflect on the way their everyday lives influence the rest of the world. They will learn how their lives and actions are intricately connected with people all around the globe. Students will be asked to go through their daily activities to the finest details. As a group, we will discuss the different daily scenarios. By doing this, students will learn about the different lifestyles of their peers. Following this exercise, students will have to read the story of an average Canadian child. The excerpt will be entitled “A day in the life of…” and will describe in detail the daily activities of a typical child. From this, students will be paired up, and will have to analyze the text they were given. From this, the goal is to have students reflect on what effects and consequences their daily choices have on the world globally. In other words, students will dissect the elements of a typical Canadian child’s daily routine, and will see the connections we have with the rest of the world. Once students have established these connections, they will be asked to identify with coloured stickers the countries where these connections are based. This will enable to students to better understand and relate to the different worlds. When we actually see where and what are affecting, it often will have a more real and genuine impact on our learning. In addition, the fact that students will be physically sticking the stickers on the map with allow for more meaningful and effective learning. Many learners are visually stimulated, and by having these students manipulate objects creates hands on learning which is imperative for some learners. Moreover, the use of group work and classroom discussions allows for community learning to take place.

Banana Wars

Banana Wars

Timeline:

For the first lesson of the unit, I will have students come and sit on the carpet for a class discussion. I will use the first period of the day to start my lesson. By doing so, students will have their daily routine fresh in their minds which will be ideal for this lesson. Once students have settled themselves on the carpet, I will begin the lesson by opening up the discussion with a question. I will ask the students to describe to me their typical daily routine. Students will be encouraged to be as descriptive as possible and to include as much detail that they can remember. I will allow for a 10-15 minute discussion to ensue, while always making sure the students stay on topic. This will allow for a variety of different daily routines to be discussed. During this time, I will question the students to think a little more critically about their everyday activities by asking questions like: “What do you use when you brush your teeth?” “Where and who do you think make your clothes?” “How did you get to school?” By doing this, I hope to have student reflect on how they will share their daily activities.

Once a hand full of students will have spoken, they will be paired up and given an envelope. This envelope will contain an 8X11” map of the world, coloured stickers, and a copy of “A day in the life of…”. Students will be asked to read the excerpt and discuss and take notes on the effects that this typical Canadian child has on the rest of the world. Once they have done this, they will use the stickers to identify the countries that are being affected. They will be given 35 minutes to complete this activity.

Once they have completed this activity, students will be asked to share their findings. I will take 10 minutes to briefly discuss some of the major effects (positive and negative) we have on other countries. This activity will be used as an introduction and as a hook for the unit.

Lesson Activity:

The activity in this lesson will consist of a classroom discussion and group work. Students will begin by discussing basic ideas and will be asked to think critically about them. Once they have done so, they will begin group work that will ask them to do a hands on activity that will help them understand and visualize the issues at hand.

Appendix:

A day in the life of…

I woke this morning at 7:30am to the ringing of my alarm clock. I walked across the rug in the hallway to the bathroom. I had a shower, I brushed my teeth, I combed my hair, and I got dressed in my favourite t-shirt and jeans.

My mom was making coffee and sliced a banana over her cereal. I quickly made peanut butter on toast. After breakfast, I grabbed my jacket and backpack and put on my sneakers. My dad drove me to class, after he put gas in his car.

Lesson 2: All Tied Up

Materials:

· 10 pieces of string (2.5 m long)

· 1 piece of string (1m long)

· Copy of Appendix

Objectives:

In this lesson, students will be asked to actually, physically create the ties between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere using string and their own bodies. By doing this, students will better understand the impact we have on the southern hemisphere
and how our actions affect the rest of the world. This will be an extension to
the first lesson where students will have to understand how our lives and
actions are intricately connected with people all around the world. After this
lesson, students will be able to better visualize the ripple effect that our
actions have on other countries. In addition, students will be able to
understand how our actions affect children, not only the general public.
Students will explore the different groups of people that are affected by all
our actions. This will enable students to empathize and really understand the
impact we have on all people. Students will use active learning to see how our
lives and lifestyles are tied to, and to some extent, determine, the fate of
people in the South.

Once students have created the bonds and the links between our hemisphere and the southern hemisphere, we will discuss the obvious affects we have on other countries. Following this, students will be asked to explore different organizations that support and
sustain healthy business relations in other countries. Throughout this
discussion, students will learn about all the different organizations that
cater to helping the Southern/Northern relationship. They will also see how
organizations like War Child Canada are working to change the conditions.

Timeline:

We will begin the class by asking for 15 volunteers to come to the front of the
classroom. Five of the students will be tied in a tight circle and will be in
the middle of the classroom. The other ten students will each be tied up
separately from their waist to the inner ring in a dial pattern. The rest of
the class will stand around the students and will watch what will happen. The
ten students around the ring will be given an action to act out (see appendix).
Consequently, the action they will be acting out will force the students in the
center to move around and be pushed around. The strings will get tangled and
the whole set up will be a complete mess. This activity will take about 15
minutes in total to set up and act out.

Once the students have seen the affects that our everyday life has on other
countries, I will ask all the students to meet me on the carpet for a classroom
discussion. Students will be encouraged to share with the class what they felt
about this exercise and what they think it represents. We will discussion
issues such as:

· The products that we use everyday are so valuable that they cause resource wars

· All our actions in trade and consumption can affect people in the South including children who work as labourers or are drawn into resource wars as victims or soldiers.

· The items being discussed are so valuable sometimes that there is competition to control their distribution.

This discussion will last about 15 minutes. I will use questioning and probing to encourage the discussion. Students will then be put into small groups and will have to begin thinking about what kind of organizations could help improve the situation. They will be given a list from the Appendix to use as a reference. Students will be asked to brainstorm and take notes on what they have come up with. This activity could take up to 20 minutes.

Lesson Activity

Students will have to participate in a hand on activity. They will also have to partake in a classroom discussion where they will be encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts about these issues. In addition, students will have to brainstorm ideas for the creation of a new organization.

Appendix

For those in the middle

oil

minerals

timber

food

textiles

For those around them

mobile phones

running shoes

exotic fruits and vegetables

gasoline

diamonds

computers

jeans

furniture

coffee

War Child Canada Project cards

AFGHANISTAN WOMEN’S COMMUNITY SUPPORT

Where: Kabul, Afghanistan

Local Partner: Afghanistan Women’s
Council (AWC)

BUTTERFLY PEACE

GARDEN

Where: Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Local Partner: Butterfly Peace Garden

DARFUR VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM

Where: West Darfur, Sudan

Local Partner: St. Vincent de Paul
Society

ETHIOPIAN AIDS ORPHANS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Where: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Local Partner: People to People
Ethiopia (P2P)

GIRLS EDUCATION

INITIATIVE PROJECT

Where: Northern Uganda

Local Partner: The Acholi Education
Initiative (AEI)

No War Zone
Projects

Where: various

NORTHERN UGANDA CHILD LEGAL DEFENCE PROJECT

Where: Northern Uganda

Local Partners: Uganda Law Society – Legal Aid
Project

SCHOOL REHABILITATION AND
REVITALIZATION PROJECT

Where: Northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo

Local Partner: Free Methodist Church
of the Congo (FMCC)

SOUTH SUDAN YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROJECT

Where: Southern Sudan

Local Partner: South Sudan Youth Participation
Agency (SSYPA)

THE FORMER CHILD SOLDIER
REHABILITATION PROJECT

Where: Sierra Leone

Local Partner: iEARN Sierra Leone ,
Centre for Coordination of Youth Activities

IRAQ SCHOOL REHABILITATION PROJECT

Where: Baghdad and Karbala, Iraq

Local Partner: Muslim Hands Iraq and Iraq Al-Amal

TRAUMA RECOVERY AND CULTURAL
AWARENESS

Where: Ghana

Local Partner: Liberian Dance Troupe
(LDT) and West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP)

Lesson 3: Organization overview

Materials:

  • Powerpoint presentation about the different organizations
  • Worksheet

Objectives:

In this lesson, students will be given an overview of different Canadian organizations that help war stricken countries. Students will learn about these organizations by watching a powerpoint slide show that will outline the organizations’ different mandates and campaigns, the countries they assist, and other basic information about them. This slide show will enable students to better understand what an organization is and what needs to be included when they will create their own. By the end of this activity, students will be to identify the key elements of Canadian organizations. They will also be better prepared to create their won organization in the future lessons.

Once we have discussed and viewed the powerpoint slide show, I will use the smartboard to outline the basic elements from each organization that was shown on the presentation. Students will then be asked to complete a worksheet individually. By the end of his activity, students will be able to name and describe the key organizations.

This lesson will be imperative for the unit because it will give students a bases and foundation for the future lessons that will be taught. Students will need this lesson to better understand what is an organization and what goes into creating one. In addition, by the end of this lesson, students will be more critical and aware of the impact we as a Northern country have on other countries. Although previous lessons will have taught them about the often negative impact we have on other countries, one of the objectives to this lesson will be to inform the students about the positive differences we can make in other countries. It is important that students are not only submerged with negative ideas, but are also shown the positive side of certain issues.

War Child is a Canadian organization aimed at helping children that have been affected my war in different countries.

War Child is a Canadian organization aimed at helping children that have been affected my war in different countries.

Check this out: Avril Lavigne’s Knocking on Heaven’s Door- Support for War Child

Timeline:

I will begin the lesson by introducing getloud.ca. We will spend a few minutes navigating through the website using the smartboard. The students will all be gathered on the carpet. Throughout this time, students should be getting involved in the viewing of the website.

Once we have spent sufficient time browsing getloud.ca, I will keep all the students on the carpet. I will begin by introducing my slide show by explaining what an organization is and how it works. I will encourage students to share their ideas about this topic by asking questions like:

· Why do we have organizations?

· Which organizations have you heard of? What do they do?

· Do you know of any Canadian organizations?

We will have a short discussion of about five minutes before I begin the slide show. I will then start the slide show and go through each slide thoroughly. We will discuss the slides and the images used. The slide show and discussion should last 25 minutes. Once we have viewed the entire thing, I will encourage students to go back to their seats.

Students will be asked to complete the worksheet handed out. They will have to use the outline we worked on at the beginning of class and the slide show. Students will be given 20 minutes to complete this sheet. Once they have finished, they will pair up with a buddy and will compare their answers and their findings. They will be given a few minutes to auto-correct and find the correct information. This lesson will be used for the next lesson, so students will be asked to hand in their work by the end of this lesson.

Lesson Activity:

Throughout this activity, students will have think critically about different organizations and what they stand for. The main part of this lesson will be to view and discuss the slide show. The work sheet will be used as reinforcement, not as the actual lesson. I think it is way more valuable to view and discuss the presentation casually. I think that the students will learn way more effectively this way.

Lesson 4: Representin’

Materials:

  • The internet
  • A map of the world

Objectives:

This activity will consist of having students use the brainstorming session from the previous lesson and utilize it in this activity. They will be asked to use the internet and other resources to help create this new organization. The organization will have to be put into place to help children that have been affected by war. By doing this, students will have to explore what kind of resources are needed in countries that have been affected by war. They will have to research credible organizations and will use the overview from the previous lesson to choose what kind of organization they want to create.

By doing this activity, students will better understand what goes into these organizations. In addition, students will have to think critically about what they feel is important in an organization. Students will choose which needs they want to assist and address. That will require them to really think about what matters to them as individuals and as youth. Throughout this activity, students will participate in a classroom discussion that will go over how the students feel about different organizations. This will enable students to better understand and verbalize how they feel.

Part of this activity will take place in the computer labs where students will be able to research information for their new organization. This will allow the students to be prepared and informed on the topic they will be working on. By the end of this lesson, students should be able to identify what kind of organization they want to create, what they feel is important to address, how they will assist certain countries, and what areas they will be supporting. In addition, students should be able to identify some key organizations and what they stand for.

Timeline:

I will begin this activity by showing a 15 minutes clip from getloud.ca. This will used to hook the students into the activity and get informed about what different organizations stand for. The video caters to students and will reach them in a way that no other resource could.

Once the video was viewed, we will have a short five minute discussion. I will probe the class by asking questions like:

  • How does this video make you feel?
  • How do you feel about the getloud.ca campaign?
  • What kind of impact do you think these organizations have on the world?

Following the discussion, students will be placed in the same groups that they have been working in for the last few lessons. They will then go to the computer labs to proceed with the lesson. They will be given 25 minutes to find information on the internet to help them create their organization. Students will have to research different campaigns and organizations to decided what kind of project they want to create. During this time, students will be encouraged to go back and forth from the classroom to the computer labs. If they are not finding information there, it is essential that they feel that they can come and ask questions, get feedback, and input from their teacher and their peers. They will also have the permission to use the library to find information and resources.

While students are working on their research, I will circulate throughout the groups and see how the work in coming along. I will try and observe the group cohesion, and make sure that they are working through the project. Once students have found their information, we will have a five minute recap about the information they found.

Lesson Activity:

In this activity, students have to do research to find information and resources. They will also have to do group work throughout this project. During this lesson, students will have to view a movie from getloud.ca and reflect about how it makes them feel. They will also have to discuss and share their ides and thoughts about their project.


Lesson 5: The power of poetry

Materials:

  • Copies of two poems (see Appendices)
  • Art material
  • Flipchart and coloured pencils

Objectives:

In this activity, students will be working with two poems from war-torn areas (the Congo and Afghanistan) to understand issues affecting these countries more deeply and in different ways, and will create their own artistic response to the issues. These responses will then be posted on the No War Zone website. The objective for this lesson is to have the students use poetry as a vehicle for understanding and empathizing with other people and other nations. Students will need to reflect and reason on what the poems are portraying.

In addition, students will be reading poems from two distinct and different nations. This lesson will allow students to recognize the differences and the similarities between both of these regions. One of the objectives of this lesson will be to have students see common and different elements in war-torn regions. This will allow students to better understand what is actually going on in these countries and will enable them to better relate to the children in these countries.

Another objective of this lesson will be to have children use their creativity to send a message. Students will be encouraged to use their own creativity as a way to deal with these issues. This will allow students to use art as an outlet and as a way to produce something meaningful to them. I am the kind of teacher that embraces art and creativity and I think that it is absolutely vital in a classroom. I think that by using this as a medium is a great way to allow the students to be original and creative.

Lastly, another objective gained from this lesson would to be have students become a more critical audience. This will allow them to be critical to what they are reading and what they are learning, and essentially this is what we want from the students.

Flag of the Republic of Congo

Flag of the Republic of Congo

Aghanistan Flag

Aghanistan Flag

Timeline:

In this lesson, we will be working on an activity that should last about 60 minutes. I will begin the lesson by having students sit in pairs and I will distribute flipchart paper and coloured pencils. I will ask the students to draw something together in silence. Students will have to create something without talking and this will be a very important part of the lesson. I will circulate in the classroom and encourage silence. I will allow students about ten minutes to work on this activity. After they have finished, I will ask them how it felt to work on something creative and how it felt to negotiate a picture with another person without talking. I will encourage students to share their thoughts about the process, and share their drawings.

Following this, pairs will then be asked to match up with another pair. They will each a get a copy of one of the two poems. The students will be given sufficient time to read these poems, as they are long and not that straight forward to read. While reading, students will be encouraged to think about certain questions such as:

· Think of a title or alternate title for the poem and explain why you chose what you did.

· What are three images in the poem and what do they mean to you?

· Explain why poetry is an effective method to discuss social justice and change.

I will then have a group discussion in which they share their ideas and thoughts about the poems. These poems are quite heavy, thus I will give the students a good amount of time to discuss how they feel.

After the class discussion, students will then be encouraged to create a short poem in their group exploring the themes of the affects of war on children. Students will be given about 20 minutes to create their poems. Once they have done so, we will post them up on www.nowarzone.org, a website that can be viewed by children all around the world.

Lesson Activity:

This lesson will allow students to be creative and artistic. They will have to work in groups to create a drawing and a poem, and will also have to think critically to poems that they will read.

Appendices

Welcome to the Congo

Claiming that they’ve finally brokered peace
But don’t let them fool ya
’Cause up ‘til today
We’re still diggin’ up body bags in Bunia

Because their role in the Congo
Supports nothing but violence
Our continual purchase of Congolese riches
That never benefit the masses–compliance
Possible experiments with untested AIDS drugs
On unsuspecting Congolese–in the name of science
Poems like this to try to wake us all up–a simple act of defiance
All I’m asking for my beloved Congolese people–self-reliance
But when I ask you to help me heal the hurting heart of Africa,
Your response–SILENCE!

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How can wetness leave water?
Don’t try to put out a fire
by throwing on more fire!
Don’t wash a wound with blood!
No matter how fast you run,
your shadow more than keeps up.
Sometimes, it’s in front.
Only full, overhead sun
diminishes your shadow.
But that shadow has been serving you!
What hurts you, bless you.
Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.
I can explain this, but it would break
the glass cover on your heart,
and there’s no fixing that.
You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.
When from that tree, feathers and wings sprout
on you, be quieter than a dove.
Don’t open your mouth for even a cooooooo.
When a frog slips into the water, the snake
cannot get it. Then the frog climbs back out
and croaks, and the snake moves toward him again.
Even if the frog learned to hiss, still the snake
would hear through the hiss the information
he needed, the frog voice underneath.
But if the frog could be completely silent,
then the snake would go back to sleeping,
and the frog could reach the barley.
The soul lives there in the silent breath.
And the grain of barley is such that,
when you put it in the ground,
it grows.
Are these enough words,
Or shall I squeeze more juice from this?
Who am I, my friend?

Mevlâna Jalâluddîn Rumi translated by Coleman Barks


Lesson 6: Reading between the lines

Materials:

  • Internet
  • smartboard
  • Poster board
  • Scissors/glue

Objectives:

Throughout this lesson, students will learn how to see the media through different eyes. This activity uses actual examples from the media and some helpful terminology to help students decode what they read and see in the media everyday. One of the main objectives of this lesson will be to understand the differences between mainstream and alternative media. Students will have to view and read different articles and news clips from different news sources and will have to decipher the major discrepancies between both.

In addition, students will have to use their judgment and the prior knowledge they have acquired from previous lessons throughout this activity. Another objective from this lesson will be to have student understand and recognize key ways in which the media can be biased. It is vital that students are introduced to the double standards and subjectivities of the media world, and this is a great way to have students analyze the news source. Throughout this, students will have to read between the lines, and try and decipher the agenda being pushed by each media.

One of the main objectives of this lesson, and this unit as a whole, is to have students began their career as critical thinkers. In other words, I hope to help develop the students’ critical thinking capacities and research skills. I hope to do this by having students assess and reflect on what they are reading/watching/hearing. This will enable students to be a more critical audience when watching/reading/listening to the news.

Lastly, one of my professional objectives from this lesson will be to help students become more media aware. This will be a challenge, because while doing so, I have to make sure that I do not make my opinion or point of view on the subject obvious. As teachers, we have immense influence on our students, therefore it is important that we behave in an objective matter in the classroom.

Timeline:

Firstly, I will begin the lesson with a brainstorming session with the class. We will think about how different accounts of the same news event might be different depending on one’s source of the news. We will take notes up on the smartboard of these differences and similarities. In addition, students will record the data on the flipcharts handed out.

I will then have the students read the following two accounts of the same event:

· Afghans vote in historic election: www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/10/08/afghanistan.elections/index.html

· Elections in Afghanistan:

www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2004/10/298677.html

I will have the pairs write down and record the differences between the two and then share these as a class. We will then add these to the list on the smartboard and on the students’ flipchart.

Following this, I will introduce the idea of media bias as one way to examine the differences in coverage of the event. Depending on the students’ understanding of the term, I might have to go over what the word “bias” means in this context. To expand on what the term “bias” means, I will use an example of it from the media. I will use a report taken from the Guardian about the first Gulf War and will emphasize the words that are used to describe certain things.

Once students have seen the bias from certain newspapers, it will then be their turn to find the biases. They will be give them 30 minutes to research different news websites and newspapers and find the discrepancies between stories. They will have to either cut them out or print them out and stick them up on a poster board. They will have to present their findings at the end of class.

Lesson activity:

Students will have to participate in a hand on activity. They will also have to partake in a classroom discussion where they will be encouraged to share their ideas and thoughts about these issues. In addition, students will have to brainstorm about biases.

Lesson 7: That’s a wrap.

Students learn how use and manipulate Apple computers at the Apple store.

Students learn how use and manipulate Apple computers at the Apple store.

Materials:

  • Apple Store
  • Paper and pencil

Objectives:

The objective of this lesson will be to have students work on computers and begin learning the process of movie making. Students will have had a good overview of the effects of war on children, different organizations that exist to help the regions affected and the biases that exist in the media when talking about war and certain countries. By the end of this day, students should have a better concept of the basics when making a movie. In addition, they should learn the key concept that goes into video making.

Another objective would to be to get students familiarized with the Mac computers since their operating system is very different to what the students are used to. Although the school would be laced with a beautiful Mac lab, their daily use would be on a PC. So this activity will help students get comfortable on the Macs with professionals there to help us. Throughout this day, students will be encouraged to try different things and experiment on the Macs. By the end of the day, students should feel more at ease with these computers.

Lastly, my professional objective for this lesson will be to allow students to experiment throughout the day. This is essential to ensure students get the maximum from this lesson. This will be difficult for me, because I will have a hard time letting go. What I mean by this is I will be spending the day wanting to have full control, but I will have to let the kids have fun and experiment on their own. I have a hard time seeing computer, let alone Macs as toys, so when kids are using them, I tend to get stressed out and controlling.

Timeline:

In this lesson, we will go on a field trip to the Mac store on Ste-Catherine’s St. to get lessons on iMovie. This will be useful when students are asked to make their own short film in the following lesson. Students will learn basic skills and will familiarize themselves with the Macs. We will spend most of our day at the boutique, where they give classes and workshops for children.

Throughout the day, students will follow the Mac workshop, however, at some point, students will have to come together and begin thinking about the movie they will create. This will be done in pairs, and will be worked on in the future lesson. Students will have to take a break from the Mac workshop and begin creating a storyboard for their video. This should take about 30 minutes of their day. For the rest of the day, students will be left to their own devices while following specific workshops.

Lesson Activity:

Students will be brought to the Mac store, where they will learn how to use iMovie and other software. This will be done through hands on activities. Students will also have to create a storyboard for their own movie. This will be gone in groups.

Lesson 8: Like they do it in the movies

Materials:

  • Mac lab
  • Storyboard
  • Selected music
  • Info about organizations, war affected countries and media biases
  • Video cameras

Objectives:

The main objectives from this lesson will be to have students work creatively together to produce an effective short video on the affects of war on children. Students will have the opportunity to work on this hands-on activity. For some students, this method is much more effective and successful. Students will have to use the tips and strategies they learned on the field trip to produce a video that follows specific guidelines. Furthermore, students will have to be creative when choosing music, transitions and camera angles. This will allow the students that are more artistically included to thrive and flourish in this environment.

Another objective from this lesson will be to have students work effectively in groups. Although students will have been use to working in groups, producing something creative in pairs can be very challenging. Students will have to work through these challenges using several strategies. This activity will allow the students to see the benefits and advantages that come from group work.

By the end of this activity, students should start getting a hand on what needs to be included in their video. I think that it’s important that students understand what aspects need to be included to make videos effective and successful.

Lastly, I hope to be able to let the students work in the labs without freaking out. Allowing the students to work and letting go of my need to be controlling everything will be essential for a successful lesson.

Timeline:

We will begin the lesson by having students brainstorm and discuss what the got from the field trip. Students will be encouraged to share their thoughts and feeling about the process and any concerns they have about the project. Students might feel a little lost due to the lack of specific guidelines. I feel that for this project to be successful, there should be a few lose guidelines, but mostly the project will be open. I will take this time address any concerns that students might be feeling. This session will be about 15 minutes.

As soon as all the questions and concerns have been discussed, we will get right into the making of the movies. We will head into the Mac labs where students will get into their pairs and begin working on the videos. Students will be given the whole period to start their project. I will stay in the lab at all times to answer any questions and make sure students are staying on track. I will also ask the computer teacher to be included if he/she has the time. In this case, students will have two adults to use as reference. Students will be free to work on whatever part they choose during this period. If they want to film, they will be given the permission, as long as they remain in the school. If they want to start figuring iMovie, they can work on that during this period.

Students will be given one period a day to work on this project. The final project should be completed in two weeks time. Students will be encouraged to do the filming on their own time, however the editing and production will be done during class time.

At the end of this lesson, we will get together for a class discussion. Students will share their ideas and will get feedback from each other. If students are struggling with ideas or creativity, this will be a good time for students to talk about it.

Lesson Activity:

Students will work in groups on their video. They will work on the computers and with cameras to begin the production of their video. Students will be given lab time to work hands-on.

Lesson 9: The affects of war on children

Materials:

  • Coloured paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Markers
  • Any other art supply

Objectives:

By the end of this lesson, students will be able to clearly identify and recognize the effects of war on children in war zone around the world. This lesson will help students understand how war affects children, and how complex, long term, direct and indirect the effects are, In addition, students will be able to determine what happens to children when war impacts their country, This is an important lesson in the unit because students are faced with the realities of war in a real and meaningful way. Although this might be heavy and intense for a grade six class, it is not anymore disturbing then what they watch on CSI or on video games. As teachers, we have to be aware that students are more mature than we give them credit for, and they are often capable of dealing with a lot of heavy issues. This will be a great lesson to open their minds.
peace-sign

Another objective from this lesson is to have students understand the use and effectiveness of visuals when conveying a message. Students will create wall sized images that convey the affects of war on children. By the end of this lesson, students will be able to appreciate the potential of large scale displays of information.

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Lastly, by the end of this lesson, students will learn how to work cohesively in a group and while creating a project. This is another important aspect of group work. It is great that students are working together, however it is important that students acquire the skills to work in groups and create something of quality. It’s all fine and dandy to sit together and chat, but I want to see that students are benefiting from group work. It is important that students share their ideas, their strengths, and their weaknesses.

Timeline:
The first step will be for students to understand what a consequences map is. I will show them Appendix 1.1 as a sample. Note how the central idea is surrounded in the first ring by direct consequences and then branching out from those are more consequences. Often different type lines and symbols (circles, squares, clouds, etc.) are used for the different rings. All of these consequences have the potential of also being linked by cause and effect.
I will divide the class into eight small groups and have each produce consequences for them to ensure they understand the concept. I will circulate and check in with the groups. Students will have 15 minutes to work on this activity.
Following this, 
the small groups will be then given one of the following War Child Canada Issue Pages and I will ask to make a consequences map of the effects of war on children. I will check on the progress of these.

War Child Issues

  • Child Soldiers
  • Gender-Specific Violence
  • Psychological Impacts of War
  • Rape & Sexual Slavery
  • The Impacts of War on Education
  • War and Children’s Health
  • War and Health
  • Weapons-Related Injuries

Furthermore, the whole class will create a large-scale Consequences Map by using mural paper or a bulletin board to combine all of the group efforts. The students can then through class discussion make inter-connections between the consequences. Students will be given 30 minutes to finish this activity in groups.
I will finish the lesson by having a ten minutes discussion to see how the students felt about this exercise. It will be essential to address any concerns or issues students are having with the topic being explored.

Lesson Activity:
Students will create a consequence map on largescale paper. They will also brainstorm on the affects of war on children from conflicted countries. During this activity, students will have to work in groups.

Appendix:

Consequence Map

Consequence Map

Lesson 10: Presentation

Materials (preparations):

  • Smartboard
  • Laptop
  • USB/CD/DVD

Objectives:
As the final project of this unit, students will shed light of their knowledge through a presentation.  By the end of this lesson, students will have been able to recognize and identify different war afflicted countries, the effects on children, and the organization that is helping that region. Students will do so by creating a slide show. This lesson will enable students to get an overview on several issues in different countries. Students will have to know the key elements of the war and the major effects it has had on the society at hand.
Another important objective from this lesson will be to have students learn presentation techniques and style. The students will have to follow these presentation guidelines throughout their slideshow:

Poise and Focus: The presenter must stay focused at all times. There should be no fidgeting or looking around. Posture should be good with no leaning. The cardinal sin of any presenter is GIGGLING. Giggling does not reflect sense of humor but is a clear manifestation of nervousness and lack of focus.

Eye Contact: The audience should always be able to see the presenter’s eyes. This means that in non-memorized pieces if the presenter must look down quickly to remind him or her of the text but must have eyes up when speaking the text. Focus should be on a fixed point above the audience.

Projection and Diction: The student should be able to be heard clearly from the back of the classroom. Every student is capable of this but they may need to practice, as with any skill. If a microphone is being used, the presenter should keep the microphone 4-5 inches from his or her mouth and be careful not to turn away. Consonants must be pronounced clearly and crisply.

Pace: While a presenter is presenting, the pace should be comfortable but never too fast. The presenter should attempt to use good tempo and vocal energy to emphasize importance and to engage the audience.
In addition, by the end of this lesson, students will be better listeners and will learn how to be a good audience. This is an important task and this lesson will help them learn these objectives.
Lastly, the main goal for this lesson will be to have students create a slide show on the computer. They will have had to complete it at home, but they will have used their prior knowledge from previous lessons to do so. Students will have to create an effective slide show while following the guidelines given.

Timeline:
This lesson does not have much of a timeline because students will be giving the lesson through their powerpoint presentation. The presentations will be spread over two days and students will be encouraged to work in groups of two. Students will have had to complete the presentation at home. Presentations should last about ten minutes each.

Lesson Activity:
Group presentations will take place during this lesson. Students will have worked in groups and will be presenting with their partners.

Assessment:
The assessment of this unit will be broken down in two parts. Students will have to submit their final version of the video they created. This video should include images, music, transitions and other techniques students will have learned on the field trip. The video should be two minutes long in length and the purpose of this video will be to create a commercial to illustrate the effects of war on children. Students will be graded to on the content, but also on the techniques they will have used.
The second part of this assessment will be the production of a short paper about the commercial. The paper should include why they made their video, what was their inspiration and how did they get along. In addition, they will have to include a short reflection on their feelings towards the project and the group work. This paper should not exceed more than two pages. It will be used to assess the students’ reflection on their work.

Rubrics

Video Production

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Reflection

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