Teacher's Guide

August 11, 1999 Update
Remember, the "Kids' Versions" are aimed at K-6.

Check out this date's update
The team generated the following reports: Try the following activities:
Shawn - Leaving on a Jet Plane

Kid's version available

In the wake of his leaving, Shawn speaks from the heart about his experiences with The Odyssey.

  1. Discussion: What were your students' favorite dispatches from Shawn?
  2. Activity: Have students write Shawn a letter at his email address (in the Trek Connect section of the Odyssey website). Require that they indicate at least three things they learned from Shawn's dispatches.
Kevin - When Intolerance Rises to Intolerable Levels

An investigation into the plight of gays and lesbians in Zimbabwe.

  1. One of the pictures in this dispatch is of a poster that asks, "Which do you prefer? Racism or homophobia?" In many societies today, homophobia is viewed in much the same light as racism was perhaps a century ago throughout much of the world - it was just accepted as the norm. For older students especially, it can be a very valuable experience to have students compare the laws protecting or infringing on basic human rights of a minority in their society, as well as the forms that discrimination took.
  2. For research/discussion: What famous historical people in your students' society were gay or lesbian? Is this something they can even research in their society or is homophobia still too strong?
Kavitha - Old Ways to Make New Changes - Social Theories in Action

Intermediate Technology Zimbabwe is highlighted as an organization devoted to solving Zimbabwe's severe agricultural problems.

For discussion: Have your students research ways people have responded to natural disasters (preferably something local to the students, or to their society), and compare those responses to those being used in Zimbabwe.

Abeja - You Reap What You Sow

Zimbabwe's increasing debt and their continuing struggle in the international market place.

There are some recent Making a Difference activities dealing with Third World debt. If your students have been following along, ask what new things this dispatch reveals for them. If this is anew topic for them, have them go back and take advantage of the opportunity to voice their opinion on the topic using the previous Making a Difference.

Kavitha - From Drought to Surplus - a Tale of Success

By joining together, sharing information, and creating innovative technologies, the community of Chivi has gone from being dependent on government handouts for food, to having a surplus of food.

Have the students imagine the following situation. Their community has been cut off from the rest of the nation. They must find ways to sustain life until help can come. It may take that help over a year to reach them. What would be some of the key things they would need to address, and what ideas do they have for addressing those needs.

Abeja - A Visit to the Tobacco Auction

Kid's Version Available

Abeja and her new friends take a tour of a tobacco auction and reflect on the irony of a community that is economically dependent upon a crop that is killing them.

Have the students participate in the Making a Difference activity below.

Making a Difference - Letter Writing Activity

How to find your local representative's address so as to write them and support an increase in tobacco taxes.

This dispatch invites students to write a letter. Explain the importance of sending such messages to one's government, and how they can really change policy over time.

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