Teachers support for Topics
For help with the structure and delivery of Hamilton’s Topics, see our User Guide to Topics.
Children's rights and the millennium development goals are studied in relation to Africa and the UK. Health, water, food and trade, Mandela, African art, history and geography are all covered and support to link with an African school is given. Gain your International School Award!
We use Journey to Johannesburg to identify issues and predict how characters will deal with them. Use role play and hot seating to look at issues from different viewpoints. Children plan and write their own stories about an issue or dilemma. Publish them in a class book.
Examine the system of apartheid through a class role play activity. Introduce Nelson Mandela and discover what children already know about him. Children reflect on their own feelings during the role play. Start reading Journey to Jo’burg.
Explore in more detail the history of apartheid in South Africa, with links to Mandela. Look at the signs that were displayed. Pick out examples of effects of apartheid on non-whites in Journey to Jo’burg, and act out short scenes that show these effects.
Study biographies and autobiographies of Emmeline Pankhurst and Nelson Mandela. Identify important differences between them and the many ways in which they are presented. Children write their autobiography and research and present an oral biography of a famous African.
Link apartheid to Mandela. Who he is, where he comes from, why he is so famous, right up to the present day. Use internet and books to find information about Mandela’s life and start to develop a time line as a useful tool to refer to throughout the theme.
Look in more detail at Mandela’s life and in particular share with children a film of his release from prison. Reflect on reasons why Mandela is considered a hero by so many people all over the world. Add further details to the timeline.
Examine voting in the UK, recent elections, and why we vote. Children use a quiz to explore the history of voting in the UK and focus on women’s right to vote, and then do further research. Watch film footage of Emily Davison.
Discuss facts about voting in the UK: not everyone exercises their right to vote. Engage children on the right to vote and its significance in their own country. In two teams for and against, debate the issue of lowering the voting age.
Black Africans were very eager to vote in the 1994 South African election. Discuss the significance of Mandela’s election as the first black president in South Africa. Use historic film footage to show queues of voters and reactions to the election.
Africa is a large continent with over 50 countries – usually there is an election going on somewhere! Children research a current/recent election in Africa and/or the election of Barack Obama as President of USA. Discuss the significance of Obama’s election.
This session examines through real stories the varied reasons why 40 million children in Africa don’t attend school. Children play a ranking game to explore obstacles to education.
Through role play children consider for themselves the impact of no access to school. They plan a poster campaign or write a persuasive letter to reopen their school. Links to Children’s Rights to Education.
Children study a Mandela speech on poverty and analyse why it’s so importance in terms of content, context and process. Children plan and write their own speech on the right to education.
Through artwork/poetry/song the significance of the ‘Rainbow nation’, and of valuing diversity, is celebrated.
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