1) Do you give to charity? If not, why not? If so, which ones? 2) Have you ever stood up for someone else? 3) Is your country involved in any military action abroad? Do you support this involvement? 4) Who are the world’s worst criminals?
Kony 2012 & Invisible Children (March 11th, 2012)
In spring 2003, Jason Russell and two other American filmmakers visited Africa in search of a story. They found one in Uganda, where they heard the story of Joseph Kony, leader of the LRA rebel group. The filmmakers interviewed children who described horrifying nighttime attacks carried out by the LRA in order to kidnap and force them into becoming soldiers or soldier-wives.
Russell promised the local people to stop Kony, who was listed by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as one of the world’s worst war criminals in 2005, and the LRA, which has kidnapped an estimated 66,000 children and displaced over two million people since 1986. Russell and his friends founded a not-for-profit (NPO) organization called Invisible Children to tell the world about the LRA. Through their efforts, they succeeded in influencing the Obama government to send 100 military advisors to Africa in October 2011 to help apprehend or kill Kony. The mission, however, will expire at the end of 2012, and Kony still hasn’t been captured. His army has reportedly moved from Uganda into neighboring areas.
Realizing that time is running out, Invisible Children has started an unconventional campaign. Their idea is to make Kony famous. In March they released a video entitled “Stop Kony”, which has since gone viral online and received over 90 million views (as of March 9th). The video tells the story of the LRA and asks people to not only watch but also get involved by ordering posters, buttons, and other merchandise with Kony’s face on it. Then, on April 20th, supporters of the campaign will put up the posters in their hometowns, in hope of bringing recognition to the issue to ensure governments continue to press for Kony’s capture.
The campaign has been supported by celebrities such as George Clooney and Bill Gates. It has also been criticized for several reasons, including trying to make a very complex issue seem simple and easy to solve. Despite Kony 2012’s critics, what’s certain is that a nearly hundred million more people now know who Joseph Kony is. Time will tell what effect the campaign has on both the LRA and how people fight for international justice in the future. (365 words)
1) Why were the children in Uganda afraid of Joseph Kony?
2) True or False: Invisible Children got Kony listed as a war criminal by the ICC.
3) Why does Invisible Children think time is running out?
4) What is the Kony 2012 campaign’s main aim?
5) What have campaign supporters planned for April 20th, 2012?
6) What is one criticism of Kony 2012?
7) Your opinion: What do you think of the Kony 2012 campaign?
1 – They were afraid of being kidnapped in the night and forced to become soldiers or sex slaves. 2 – False. 3 – They think so because the US’s commitment in Africa expires at the end of the year. 4 – They are trying to make him famous. 5 – They have planned to spread posters throughout their towns to make Kony famous. 6 – The campaign has been criticized for trying to make a difficult issue into a very simple one that is easy to solve 7 – …
Kony 2012 ESL Lesson Plan: Vocabulary Matching
Match the words with their meaning as used in the Kony ESL news lesson.
go viral (phr. verb)
horrifying – terrifying; scary
displace – force people to move from their home to another place
influence – have an effect on a situation so it changes
apprehend – capture; arrest
unconventional – unusual; different
go viral – become popular incredibly quickly (online)
merchandise – things you can buy that are connected with an event/group
recognition – awareness; realization; knowledge – describe sth in a simple way that ignores some facts
ensure – make certain
complex – difficult to understand
Kony 2012 ESL Lesson Plan: Connect the below idea(s) to make a sentence.
government / uprising
horrifying / LRA
families / displace
found / NPO
influence / government
ensure / apprehend
ensure / apprehend
unconventional / merchandise
go viral / YouTube
recognition / Kony
complex / conflict
Kony 2012 ESL Lesson Plan: Intervention Debate
Student A: Student B has sent you a link to the Kony 2012 video. You disliked the video for two reasons: 1) the campaign itself is dumb, and 2) the West shouldn’t get involved in Africa’s problems. Spend a minute thinking of ways to support these two statements. Your partner will start the conversation.
Student B: You have just sent your friend, Student A, a link to the Stop Kony video. You support the campaign. Spend a minute thinking of reasons why the campaign is good, and why it’s important to help Africa. When ready, ask your partner what he/she thought of the video.
Kony 2012 ESL Lesson Plan: Slacktivism
Slacktivism is a new word. It is a combination of “slacker” & activism”. A slacker is a lazy person who avoids work. Thus, slacktivism is a lazy kind of activism done by people who feel good by sharing and promoting issues online without investing money or taking any real action.
1) Are you a slacktivist?
2) Is online activism useful?
3) What role will social media have in tomorrow’s politics?
With a partner, decide what are the top problems facing your country or the world today (e.g. government corruption, drug abuse, etc). Then, pick a problem and spend 2-3 minutes developing an unconventional campaign to help solve the issue. When finished, present your ideas to the class.
Kony 2012 ESL Lesson Plan: Discussion Questions
Would you donate money to Invisible Children?
Intervention: would you support sending your country’s troops to stop Kony?
You are camping in the wild and you come across two other campers, fighting, in the forest. One man is hurting the other, badly. There are no police nearby to call. What do you do? Why?
Paradox: If saving African children requires killing African (LRA) child-soldiers, is it worth doing?
Kony ESL Lesson plan copyright Matthew Barton of Englishcurrent.com
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