A8@M0 – MESSAGE TO THE AUTHORITIES


Aim

On completion of this activity, children will be able:

  • to reflect on the current situation of Covid-19
  • to discuss what can be done to help make the community a better place
  • to generate enthusiasm among group members for accomplishing shared goals
  • to understand and appreciate that information on public policies and their implementation should be made available to the public
  • to describe the social impact and effects on others of different communication styles

Source of the activity

Contributed by Vasilka Kolovska (Free-to-speak-safe-to-learn)

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
  • Civic-mindedness
  • Co-operation skills
  • Linguistic and communicative skills
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

Materials

  • CoEuncil of Europe website on Covid-19
  • World Health Organization‎ website on Covid-1918
  • Tools for online collaboration19
  • A random group generator20

Step-by-step instructions

  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have developed dedicated web pages devoted to the crisis. Ask the children to begin this activity by conducting a web search to find the relevant web pages on the official websites of their local authorities, national government, the Council of Europe, the World Health Organization, and other organisations. Younger children can use the Google Translator Extension to help them understand the contents of the web pages that they find.
  • Ask the children to think about the actions that are being taken by the different organisations, working individually. The following question may be used to stimulate their reflections (these questions can be simplified for younger leaners):
    • Is the information about Covid-19 well-organised on the different websites?
    • Are there any actions that are focused on children’s and young people’s needs?
    • What other improvements can you suggest to politicians to deal with children’s and young people’s needs during and after the Covid-19 pandemic?
    • How can children address their proposals to the different organisations?
  • Children create a list of their own answers to these questions, which they can use for either online or in face-to-face collaboration with other children in their class. They can use Google Slides, Tricider or Pearltrees for this purpose.
  • Organise the children into small groups, who work together (either online or face-to-face) to develop their ideas. A random group generator can be used to allocate children to groups. Each group first summarises the main positive and negative actions in response to Covid-19 from the website. Each group then creates a list containing their own suggestions to local politicians about the actions that should be taken to deal with children’s needs during and after the Covid-19 pandemic. A template for online collaboration can be created using either Google Slides, Tricider or Pearltrees.
  • Each group then creates messages addressed to their localauthorities. These messages express their reflections on their Covid-19 responses and their suggestions for meeting the needs of children. Encourage the children to be creative – for example, their messages could be organised in a letter, video, email, cartoon strip, etc. Children may send their messages to the local authorities. One of the challenges is to find the appropriate tool for expressing their thoughts.
  • Each group presents their work to the whole class. The children consider whether to actually send their messages to the local authorities. During this stage, they should be encouraged to believe in themselves and their potential.
  • Ask the groups to find out who is the person in charge in the authorities and to whom they should address their messages. For this purpose, it is important to explore the contact information and the organisational structure that is provided on the relevant websites. Sometimes children will need the help of the teacher to identify the correct person.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • Ask the children to comment on and discuss the process of the activity and the results of creating their messages to the authorities.
  • Ask the children to reflect critically on what they have learnt from the activity with the following questions:
    • Did you find the updated information on Covid-19 on the websites easily?
    • Did you learn something new about Covid-19? If so, what did you learn?
    • Do you think that your messages will be taken into account by the organisations?


18 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

19 https://www.google.co.uk/slides/about/, https://youtu.be/dvLuwL9Quzw

20 https://www.randomlists.com/team-generator

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.