There is an incredible movement in America today to make Joseph Kony, the leader of a Lord’s Resistance Army, famous. Kony’s group abducts boys to serve as soldiers and girls to become sex slaves.
Jason Russell has started a truly an amazing movement that you will be hearing about in the upcoming weeks and months. It also is a great opportunity to teach students how to use social media effectively.
I am using this activity with my freshman US History I class along with a senior elective class. This also could be used with current events, student council organizations, sociology, or world history.
Before deciding if you would like to use this with your classes, be sure to view it. It is 27 minutes long and is certainly worth your time. I have seen it several times and it is definitely school appropriate. Here is the link:
The following are some lesson ideas for the classroom.
Writing Prompt: After viewing the video ask the following questions. Write your reaction to the video? What are your emotions? Do you believe in the goal of the organization? Do you have any ideas on how you can help? Have you been involved in other community service activities? If so, describe your experiences.
This prompt should create a great class discussion. If your students use social media, you could discuss how and why they use it. You could also highlight what a great model Kony 2012 is for the positive use of facebook and twitter.
Letter writing campaign – We started by identifying our state representatives – state senator, state representative, and governor. (If you have city officials, you can include these positions too.) Next, we identified our federal representatives – representatives, senators, and the President. This is a great activity of knowledge every citizen should know. You could create a per-quiz with all these positions listed. You will be shocked at how few students can identify theses individuals.
Once you identify these individuals, assign each student an official. The students will compose a letter. We used the following guidelines:
- A personal introduction of who you are (last initial if you would like).
- An explanation of the Kony 2012 movement and why it is so important. Describe your reaction.
- Encourage the official to use their power and influence to make Kony 2012 an important policy issue.
- Urge the person to view the video and share it with others.
- Closing “Thank you and I look forward to your response.” Include your return address. (We used our school address.)
The 12 Policy Makers
Policy Maker Research: The research could be as simple as identifying the position held and the contact information. You also could have students compose a resume, powerpoint, or oral presentation. For a US history class, I would also encourage you to send letters to these individuals.
EXTRA CREDIT: Students can be encouraged to use facebook and twitter to stay current and informed. They can follow the cause, the culture makers, and policy makers on the social media the student uses. Do not encourage people to register for any social media they do not currently use, however if they do use social media, (most high school students will use at least one) they should be engaged in making a difference.
What might the students learn?
- The names and positions of the elected officials.
- How officials respond to constituent concerns.
- How motivated individuals who believe in a cause can make a difference by inspiring others to action.
Mark Molloy is a High School Teacher and founder of My Town Tutors, a website that connects parents with local teachers who tutor. Teachers pay a $12 fee to be listed for 2 years. The teachers keep 100% of the fees.
If you would like a copy of this activity and notes, email firstname.lastname@example.org. He would be glad to share with other teachers.