I am an eTwinning teacher and ambassador in Italian middle school and last year the focus topic in eTwinning was democracy and participation. So I started thinking about how to engage my students in a reflection on this topic. I realized that my students do not know how to raise support from the community on issues they consider important.
From global to local
With the teacher of Italian, my class read the famous speech by Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream..”. The students analyzed it stylistically and for its organization and became aware of some “tricks” used by M.L. King to make his message more effective, such as some figures of speech. In the English class, students wrote sentences starting with “I have a dream…” on cloud cut-outs and collected them in a collaborative poster.
But how can you people make their voice heard? How can they gather support? The teacher explained this is done through “lobbying”. What is the meaning of this word? Who can lobby? This was the core of the lesson and we took examples right from the site of The Good Lobby. So, my students started to understand that any citizen can lobby for a cause to the benefit of the entire community. Students worked in groups. First, they highlighted and created digital posters on local issues using Glogster. Then, the teacher asked to strengthen the campaign by adding a video for posting on social media.
Lobbying with videos
Students had to create videos to communicate what they wanted to change. The teacher suggested to use the “tricks” they highlighted in M.L. King’s speech. To this purpose, the teacher suggested they could use the free videos from Europeana’s film collections. The teacher decided to leave them free to choose any clip they liked and to trim it as they thought could better emphasize their message. They were working in groups and each group had a shared Google doc on which the group members could annotate the clips he or she searched and describe how they would use it. On the same document, they could also select the clips and decide their sequence in the storyboard.
Finally, they created their videos using Adobe Spark.
Implementation and assessment
The students were amazing in the creation of videos. They really let their imagination free and most of the videos were very original. The availability of many inspiring video clips from Europeana no doubt supported their imagination and creativity.
At first, the students were put off by the black and white videos and the “slow-motion” effect of some, but when they started reusing them, they discovered they are fascinating and can be easily colourized to create different effects. They said they had discovered a treasure thanks to Europeana!
Would you like to know more about this learning scenario? You can download it below:
Did you find this learning scenario interesting? You might also like:
- We Have The Right To… by Eva Toth
- Women, feminism and human rights by Isabela Miron
- World Cafe Stories by Nataša Tram
The featured image used to illustrate this article has been found on Europeana Collections and belongs to the public domain.