Kofi Annan - Center of the Storm


African workers Visions of a New World
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students

Background Activities

In this activity, students will design and complete a United Nations "Where in the World?" scavenger hunt.

1. Divide the class into groups of two or three students.

2. Ask each group to create a United Nations "Where in the World?" scavenger hunt. The answers to the questions should be found on the UN Web site (http://www.un.org) or the PBS KOFI ANNAN companion Web site (http://www.pbs.org/un).

3. Each scavenger hunt should include the following:
  • A minimum of 15 questions
  • Questions that begin with where, when, who, what or why
  • An answer key

    4. After the scavenger hunts have been created, ask students to exchange scavenger hunts with another group and complete the hunt.

    5. Tell students to meet with the group after they have completed the scavenger hunt and check the answers.

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    Steps: Activity One

    In this activity, students will discuss how Kofi Annan speaks for the weak, poor and voiceless to encourage governments to act on their behalf. They will also investigate current issues on the UN agenda and write a speech.

    1. Send students to the "Secretary General" section of Global Policy Forum Web site at http://www.globalpolicy.org/secgen/index.htm.

    2. Ask students to read one article from the "Biography" section and record five pieces of information from the article.

    3. Provide time for students to share their information with the class.

    4. Discuss the section of the KOFI ANNAN - CENTER OF THE STORM program that discusses the United Nations' lack of armies or major resources, and the section where Kofi Annan describes how he speaks for the weak, poor and voiceless and encourages governments to act on their behalf.

    5. Ask students to find an example from the "Speeches, Reports and Briefings" section of the Global Policy Forum Web (http://www.globalpolicy.org/secgen/index.htm)that illustrates how Kofi Annan encourages governments to act on behalf of the weak, poor and voiceless.

    6. Provide time for volunteers to read to the class the speech they found.

    7. Ask students to investigate a current issue on the UN agenda. These Web sites provide a place to begin the search:
  • UN Foundation http://www.unfoundation.org/
  • Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu2/hrissues.htm
  • United Nations Peacekeeping http://www.un.org/Depts/dpko/dpko/home.shtml

    8. Explain to students that they are going to write a speech on their selected topic that speaks for the weak, poor and voiceless and encourages governments to act on their behalf.

    9. Tell students to use the pre-writing, drafting, revising, and editing strategies when writing their speeches.

    Teacher Note: These sites provide useful information on the writing process:

    10. Provide time for students to share their speeches.

    Steps: Activity Two

    In this activity students will discuss how Kofi Annan believes that people will not get anywhere without a dream, and create a project to express a dream of how a current world situation could be improved.

    1. Discuss the section in the KOFI ANNAN program where the Secretary-General discusses the importance of having a dream.

    The following is a possible list of discussion questions:
  • Do you agree with Kofi Annan?
  • Considering the current state of affairs in the world, do you think Kofi Annan is unrealistic to dream?
  • Do you think Kofi Annan ever doubts or tires of dreaming?
  • What do you think happens if people stop dreaming?
  • Do you think a lot of people in the world have stopped dreaming?

    2. Discuss the section of the program that explains that on May 20, 2002, the day Kofi Annan declared East Timor independent, there were 24 armed conflicts throughout the world, 13 million refuges, 40 million people living with HIV/AIDS and half the people in the world living on less than $2 a day. The following is a list of suggested discussion questions:
  • Which one of these statistics surprised you the most?
  • Which statistic made you the angriest?
  • What do you think can be done about these situations?
  • Do you think these situations will ever be resolved?

    3. Refer to the section of the program where Kofi Annan talks about building castles in the air and giving them a foundation.

    4. Tell students that they are going to build a castle in the air and give it a foundation.

    5. Ask students to choose a particular situation and create a project that expresses their dream or vision of how the situation could be improved.

    6. The following is a suggested list of media students may wish to use to express their dream or vision:
  • Story
  • Poster
  • Work of art, e.g., painting, sculpture, quilt, etc.
  • Poem
  • Song
  • Play

    7. Provide time for students to share and explain their dreams.

    Extension Activities

    Visit the "Highlights of the Noon Briefing" section of the United Nations Web site several times a week to stay current on issues at the UN: http://www.un.org/News/ossg/hilites.htm


    Teacher Evaluation:

    Create individual portfolios of students' work.

    Observe students in the following areas:
  • Growth in cognitive skills
  • Interactions that occur during group work
  • Growth in social skills
  • Growth in attitudes toward learning

    Conference with each student on these topics:
  • His or her goals
  • Strategies for learning
  • Solutions to problems

    Student Self-Evaluation:

    What did I learn from this project?
    What do I still want to learn about this topic?
    What part of my work on this project gives me a sense of achievement?
    What would I do differently next time?
    In what ways was I able to work with others on this project?
    What did I like most about this project?

    Organizers for Students

  • About the Film Resources Make a Pledge
    Kofi Annan - Center of the Storm Resources About the Writer Lesson Plans