Issue 6.1, April 2002


Connecting Global Education with Activism:
Building A Local and Global Community


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 International

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.

Lesson Procedure:
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.

Lesson Extensions:
• 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 landmines.
• Have students research organizations that are working to educate about landmines and working to eradicate their use (e.g. the United Nations Adopt-A-Minefield program).
• Invite to your classroom a speaker that has been active on the educating about landmines.

Developed for Mercy Corps and included in “The Many Faces of Afghanistan: A Curriculum for Educators”

Contact Information

Marta Colburn
Education Liason for Mercy Corps
4214 Southeast 30
th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202


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