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20 October 2014
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  • Online lesson plan
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  • Using website activites

  • Using the 'Sonar goes to the Music Festival' activity

    This activity shows the character Sonar finding out about the European Union. Sonar is trying to book tickets for a music festival in Brussels and so needs to lean about where it is, travel documents and what money to use.

    The activity covers the QCA Schemes of work Unit 05: How the law protects animals - a local-to-global study and Unit 10: Debating a global issue.

    How to use with whole class with access to computers

    Ask students to follow the animation, trying to answer the questions as they progress. These questions may help to guide and record their learning, writing answers in their books:

    1. What is the European Union?
    2. How many member states are there at present?
    3. What currency do most of these states use?
    4. Why does the UK not use this currency?
    5. Did you win your tickets to the music festival? Would you like to go to a real one?

    When students have finished, it is possible to have a general sharing of what they have learned about the European Union. Then introduce current EU issues, for example enlargement or the proposed constitution. These questions may help to inspire thinking and idea sharing:

    1. Do you know which countries will join the EU in 2004?
    2. How can you balance national sovereignty with belonging to a wider Union?
    3. Do you think it is as good idea to expand the Union?
    4. What could be advantages or disadvantages of this?
    5. How might an agreed constitution help bring the EU together?

    These questions are aimed to explore together the implications of a country belonging to a wider political, social and economic grouping - and for its people therefore to have different levels of identity as citizens. This could be posed as a challenge that also brings in being part of the Commonwealth and the United Nations. One way of doing this is to draw or design on-screen a self portrait and to label this with as many levels of citizenship as each student feels they can identify with, e.g. 'home town citizen', 'British citizen', 'European citizen', 'world citizen'.

    Encourage students to explore active citizenship with the learning journeys. There are examples of Citizenship Action by other schools. They can 'Go off on a tangent!' with audio and video clips, find out more on The Lowdown. Students who finish early can add their own ideas about rights and responsibilities on the messageboard.

    How to use with only a small number of computers

    Ask students to print out different pages from the 'Sonar goes to the Music Festival' animation. They bring these to a whole class discussion, so that they story can be built up from the pictures. Discussion of the European Union can then be developed from the story. Stop for recording information in exercise books, or develop written tasks:

    1. List everything Sonar may need to take to go to the festival in Brussels (eg passport, Euros).
    2. Write a short statement showing what it means to you to be a citizen of Europe.
    Suggestions for using with an interactive whiteboard

    Project the animation onto the board, stopping at each question so the whole class can decide answers (talking in pairs or writing down). Record answers on the whiteboard so these can build up for a review at the end of the activity.

    Suggestions for using for lesson planning

    Make an OHP transparency from the map of current members of the European Union. Project this so the class can check what they know. Use atlases to find the ten new member states in 2004. Make maps of Europe showing these 25 members, plus countries asking to join after 2004.

    Suggested questions to encourage class discussion

    1. What is the European Union?
    2. Name one country that is a member of the EU and the Commonwealth. (UK)
    3. Why is this country a member of both organisations?
    4. Do recent events (eg the war in Iraq) make the UN seem very united?
    Extension work: Suggestions for more able pupils.

    1. Watch one evening television news programme. Record how many references there are to supra-national organisations like the EU, Commonwealth and UN. Prepare to give an analysis of your findings in class, explaining why you think particular stories were highlighted.

    2. Explore an actual or possible future area of conflict within one of these organisations, for example between EU member states over the constitution or the use of the Euro. Write a speech from the foreign affairs minister of one of the member states, showing how the issue is viewed from this country.

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