A free teaching kit from UNICEF builds student
awareness about the worldwide problem of child labor. Included: Information
about UNICEF's Kids Speak Up for Kids Essay Contest.
Additional activities included.
Note from EducationWorld editors: Some of the links in this article are no longer live; and some of the resources mentioned are no longer available. We are keeping the article on our live site because there are ideas that remain valuable. We apologize for any inconvenience caused by the dead links.
True stories, all of them.
As much as we would like to believe that things like that aren't happening, "the sad truth is that millions of children throughout the world work daily under nightmarish conditions," according to Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Committee for UNICEF. "They work in factories and in fields, in cities and in remote villages. Some struggle just to stay alive; others support entire families."
Child labor around the world is the focus of "Kids Helping Kids," a series of lessons produced by the U.S. Committee for UNICEF and Children's Television Workshop (CTW). The "Kids Helping Kids" packet is available free to teachers. Each packet includes two guides -- one for grades 1-5 and one for grades 6-12; a colorful classroom poster; a copy of an issue of TIME for Kids (headline story: "Too Hard at Work, Too Soon"); and other materials.
Grade 1-5 activities include lessons in understanding
Grade 6-12 activities include lessons in
SCHOOL CHILDREN CAN HELP OUT IN MANY WAYS
At all grade levels, students are encouraged to think of ways to help out in their communities -- from doing errands for a neighbor who can't get out to contributing toys to a local shelter; from volunteering to tutor a younger child to planting a garden to raise food for others.
Kids might even want to help UNICEF wage a war against child labor. Giving kids the opportunity to help can bring about some pretty amazing results. From the UNICEF kit come three examples:
ADDITIONAL CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
Geography. Child labor is a big problem in parts of many countries, including:
Listening activity. Read aloud the "The Life and Death of Iqbal Masih," a story that appears on the back cover of the "Kids Helping Kids" activity book for grades 6-12. (For younger students, read aloud a revised version of that story at the end of this article.) Then ask students the following questions to test their listening skills. (Answers are in parentheses.)
Web surfing. Invite students to learn more about Iqbal Masih by checking out a couple of Internet sites. (See the sites listed below.)
Map-reading activity. Use the map that appears in the sample issue of TIME for Kids (included in the "Kids Helping Kids" packet). Post the map at a learning center, along with the following questions for kids to answer using the map. Answers appear in parentheses.
CHILD LABOR ON THE INTERNET
For young students...
For older students only...
When Iqbal Masih was only four years old, his father sold him to the owners of a carpet making factory. The factory owners paid Iqbal's father $12 for the boy. For the next six years, Iqbal was chained to a loom in a carpet factory for 14 hours a day, six days a week.
Iqbal was small and weak. He grew weaker as he was repeatedly beaten for disobeying the factory owners. The boy was given just enough food to keep him alive and working.
When he was ten years old, Iqbal managed to escape. Freedom allowed Iqbal to do something he'd always dreamed of: Going to school.
Iqbal became a spokesperson for the children who were left behind in the carpet factory -- and for children everywhere. He spoke out against the terrible abuses that child laborers suffer in his country, Pakistan. Iqbal carried his message to many other countries too, including the United States. In the United States, Iqbal was honored for his work in support of human rights for children. Wherever he went, Iqbal took his message: "The world's 200 million enslaved children are your responsibility."
After two years of freedom, during which he helped to free thousands of children, Iqbal Masih, at the age of 12, was shot and killed in his home village while riding his bicycle on Easter Sunday, 1995.
Today Igbal's murder remains unsolved.
The packet detailed in this article is no longer available. However, you can still find useful information about UNICEF programs and tips for fundraising on the organization's Web page Kids Helping Kids.
Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World® Editor-in-Chief
Copyright © 2008 Education World