Connecting Global Education with Activism:
Building A Local and Global
|Getting children active
in international events can be done through effective classroom learning
experiences. This educator explains how tragedy can lead to a better
understanding of diversity.
By Marta Colburn, Colburn Consulting
Landmines in Afghanistan: Classroom Activity
Appropriate Level: Grades 4 – 12.
Goals/Focus: To learn about landmines in Afghanistan.
• Background information for children on landmines in Afghanistan.
• 200 pieces of 8 ý x 11 sturdy cardboard, red spray paint and a stencil of
an “X.” Spray paint the red “X” on 30 percent of the cardboard pieces.
• Additional information on landmines.
Part 1: Discuss with students what they know about landmines.
Part 2: Before the students arrive lay the landmine cards face down
(the red x’s should be randomly scattered throughout the pack) in a two-wide
path snaking around the room and out into the hallway.
Part 3: Have students read the
background information (summarize for younger children).
Part 4: Have students make a line at
the beginning of the path and explain the rules to them.
• Turn over each card that is stepped on.
• Players are only allowed to skip one or two cards at a time when walking
through the minefield.
• When a player steps on a red “x” card they are out of the game.
Part 5: The first person in line walks
through the minefield until they hit a landmine and leaves the game. The
second person then begins from the beginning of the path and follows the
first player’s steps (of course avoiding the landmine they stepped on) and
continues until they hit a landmine. The next player starts over again,
following the previous victim’s steps, and proceeds until they are out of the
game. This continues until all players are out. If players have not made it
to the end of the path and time allows, they can go through the line again
until someone reaches the end.
Part 6: Have students reflect on the lesson verbally or through writing. Remind students that the activity was very serious and designed to
help them think about important issues and reflect on the lives of Afghan
children. For younger students, reassure them that, fortunately, in this
country there are no landmines planted in our streets and homes, and
American children do not worry about becoming refugees. While September 11th
was a tragic and frightening event, their parents and our leaders are doing
their best to protect their security.
• Have students research various types of landmines and where they are
manufactured. Research the U.S. programs for landmine awareness and policy
towards signing international treaties banning the manufacturing of
• Have students research organizations that are working to educate about
landmines and working to eradicate their use (e.g. the United Nations
• Invite to your classroom a speaker that has been active on the educating
Developed for Mercy Corps and included
in “The Many Faces of Afghanistan: A Curriculum for Educators”
Marta Colburnth Avenue
Education Liason for Mercy Corps
4214 Southeast 30
Portland, Oregon 97202