On completion of this activity, children will be able:
- Support other people despite differences in points of view
- Engage with public issues
- Identify discrepancies or divergences in materials being analysed
- Have confidence in their own ability to achieve their goals
- Collaborate with others
Source of the activity
Contributed by Maria Grazia Lo Cricchio (Free-to-speak-safe-to-learn)
Competences targeted by the activity
- Civic mindedness
- Autonomous learning skills
- Analytical and critical thinking skills
- Co-operation skills
- Linguistic and communicative skills
- Videos about Covid-1927
- If a poster is to be produced by the children to present the results of the activity, a poster creator tool28
- Alternatively, if the children cannot use web tools for creating posters, a common online blackboard may be used instead29
- If the children are asked to produce a video report, a video making tool may be used30
- Discuss with the children what journalists usually do in their job. Explain that quality journalists are responsible of their texts and that they respect certain principles31. Explain that they themselves are going to become journalists, reporting on the Covid-19 crisis in their community, and that they will be interviewing parents, grandparents and other children (possibly using online resources) to find out about their experiences of the pandemic. Additionally, they might be asked to collect data and information concerning previous public health crises in the past, for example the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, in order to compare these crises with the present pandemic.
- Divide the children into small groups, and give each group a specific assignment to investigate and report. These might be as follows:
- Group A might focus on Covid-19 and the characteristics of this pandemic crisis (e.g. What is a coronavirus? What problems are linked to it? How does the virus spread?)
- Group B might focus on the present crisis and the relevant safety behaviours (e.g. What is good behaviour? What is forbidden? What is allowed? Do children/adults/elders know what to do in this kind of situation?)
- Group C might focus on the past, and investigate what safety behaviours were required during a previous pandemic such as the Spanish flu (e.g. What was forbidden? What was allowed? Did children/adults/elders know what to do in that situation?)
- Group D might focus on the mismatch between what people believe are safety behaviours and actual safety behaviours (e.g. Are there differences between the behaviours of adults and peers and what the official regulations specify as safety behaviours?)
- Group E might focus on children and Covid-19 (e.g. Are there specific requirements of children during pandemic? Do children understand what is happening? What are the things that adults can do to help children during this period?)
Take steps to ensure that all children have an opportunity to contribute actively to the work that is being conducted by their group.
- Each group prepares a report on the specific topic that has been assigned to them. The reports could be produced in the form of posters, and a poster exhibition could be used to present the outcomes of the activity. The groups present their reports to the rest of their class. Alternatively, the groups could be asked to produce a short video report, and a video exhibition could subsequently take place. Children might need some assistance or instruction on how to use the online tools for making posters or videos.
- Summarise all of the ideas that have emerged, and discuss with the children how these ideas can help their community or families during the Covid-19 pandemic and in the future.
Debriefing and Evaluation
- Debrief the children by asking questions such as these:
- How did you like being a journalist?
- Was it difficult to find the examples and information you needed?
- Were any parts of this activity especially challenging? Especially fun?
- What did you learn from this activity?
- What did you learn from the reports made by the other groups?
- When the Covid-19 pandemic is over, which behaviours should be maintained and which ones may be changed?
- In addition, children can be asked to share any other personal tips or advice they might have as a result of participating in this activity.
31 It is possible to find a good compilation of these principles at: https://www.ifj.org/who/rules-and-policy/global-charter-of-ethics-for-journalists.html