Week 2: I Have a Dream...

Politics and Activism

(Year 6-8)

Kia ora and welcome to Week 2 of the Summer Learning Journey! If you have just joined us, it’s great to have you! This week we are going to be learning about people who have changed the world through politics and activism. This is a small selection of people who made an impact on others though politics and protest. On Day 5 you will get the chance to choose someone you are interested in and share what you learn about them on your blog.

Get ready to learn about some people who have fought hard for what they believe in!

DAY 1: Taking the Lead

Activity 1: Playing Favourites [4 points]

Barack Obama was the President of the United States of America (USA) from 2009 - 2017. He made history as the first African American person to be elected President of the USA.

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii. His father was from Kenya, Africa and his mother was American. His parents divorced when he was young and his father died in a car crash when Barack was 21 years old. As a young man Barack studied law at university which is where he met his wife, Michelle.

Together, Barack and Michelle have spent much of their adult lives helping others and giving back to their community. When they are not at work, they can be found doing their favourite things, including spending time with their family, playing with their dog, or going to the gym.

What do you like to do for fun? Do you also enjoy spending time with family? Do you have a special pet?

For this activity, create a list of your ‘Top 5’ favourite things to do and take a photo of yourself doing each of these things.

On your blog post both your list and your photos of your favourite things.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Image Attribution: Dr Jessica Rogers, Winston Churchill Trust. Image Source.

Dr Jessa Rogers (Metuamate) is a Aborignal Australian and a leader in indigenous education. She grew up in Queensland, Australia, and when she had a baby while she was still at school, it seemed like her education would suffer. However, Jessa not only completed her high school education, but she went on to University and completed several degrees, including a PhD which means she is called Dr Rogers!

Dr Jessa Rogers became the first school principal (and youngest Aboriginal principal in Australia) of the Cape York Girl Academy, a school in far north Queensland for young indigenous mums and their babies. For her work on improving indigenous education in Australia, she won the NAIDOC Youth of the Year award in 2010, has gone on to win many more awards and write several books.

Dr Rogers is a proud member of the Wiradjuri people, an Indigenous community in Australia, and has a strong connection to New Zealand. In fact, her husband is affiliated with two iwi in New Zealand - Ngāti Kauwhata, Ngāti Raukawa, and he is also of Cook Island and Tahitian decent. Jessa is currently working at the University of Canberra as an assistant professor.

For this activity, we would like you to calculate Jessa’s age when she won the NAIDOC Youth of the Year award. She was born on 7 April 1985 and she received the award on 9 July 2010. Please provide the answer to this question in years, months and days (eg. 20 years, 6 months and 2 days).

On your blog, please post both your final answer and an explanation of how you solved this maths problem. You could write your explanation, or use screencastify to record yourself explaining how you solved it.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: ‘Dear Jacinda’ [6 points]

The Right Honorable Jacinda Ardern is the current Prime Minister (PM) of New Zealand (NZ). You might have heard of her because she’s in the news a lot! Did you know that she is the second youngest person and the second woman ever to be elected PM of NZ?

As PM, Jacinda Ardern makes a number of important decisions every day. Before she makes these decisions, she meets with many people to hear their ideas and get their perspectives (views) on issues.

Let’s imagine you were to write a letter to Jacinda Ardern about an issue that is really important to you, and to ask her for help. It could be something serious to do with education, health or welfare, or it could be something more fun and crazy - you decide!

For this activity, please write a letter that includes the issue you have chosen, why you have chosen it, and what you would like our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, to do about it. It is your job to persuade us (and her!) that it’s an important issue.

On your blog, share your letter to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Remember, you never know who might read your blog!

DAY 2: Taking Action

Activity 1: A Long Walk to Freedom [4 points]

Nelson Mandela was an activist and civil rights leader who was born and raised in South Africa. For over 40 years (1948-1991), the country of South Africa had a political system called ‘apartheid’. This meant that there were different rules for people who had white skin than for those who didn’t. Nelson Mandela felt that this was very wrong and he fought for many years to change the law. Eventually he became the President of South Africa and ended apartheid, but not before spending 27 years in prison.

In Robben Island prison (where Mandela spent 18 years), life was very tough. Mandela had a tiny, damp, concrete cell, with only a straw mat to sleep on. During the day he was forced to work in a quarry, breaking rocks into gravel. He was only allowed to see one visitor and receive one letter every six months. At night, Nelson read and studied to be a lawyer.

For this activity, please imagine that you are Mr Mandela and that you are living at Robben Island prison. You have been given a journal and each night you write in it.

On your blog, write a journal entry imagining that you are Mr Mandela. What do you think he did each day? How did he feel? Include as much detail as you can in the journal entry.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: School Strike for Climate [4 points]

You may have heard people talking about an issue called ‘Climate change’. Climate change refers to an increase in the temperature of our planet. Warmer temperatures can cause natural disasters (floods, storms, droughts, bushfires, hurricanes, etc), rising sea levels, and the extinction (disappearance) of plants and animals.

Many people in New Zealand (and overseas) are worried about climate change, including Greta Thunberg, a 16 year old girl from Sweden. She believes that climate change is not only real, but that it is a “crisis”. She is upset that adults, particularly governments and powerful people, are not taking climate change seriously. In 2018 she began protesting outside the Swedish government buildings every Friday instead of going to school. She inspired the School Strike for Climate protests and, in 2019, spoke to the United Nations about her concerns. Not everyone, however, is convinced that climate change is really happening.

For this activity, we would like you to explore the School Strike for Climate Australia website.

On your blog, list three facts (things) that you learned, and include a photograph of something that you are doing around home to help the environment.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: “I Have a Dream” [6 points]

Martin Luther King Jr was a Christian minister in the United States of America (USA) in the 1950s and 1960s. He spent much of his life fighting for equality (equal rights) for people of colour. At the time, there were laws that kept black and white people separated - they went to different schools, used different toilets, and even sat in different parts of a bus and ate in different areas of a restaurant. This was called ‘segregation.’

Dr King did not agree with these laws and he led many protests against them. He was joined in his protests by many people, including an African American woman named Rosa Parks. In 1955, Rosa boarded a bus in Alabama (USA) and when the bus filled up with people, she refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. You can read about this famous incident here and watch a video about Rosa Parks here.

The brave actions of people like Martin Luther King Jr and Rosa Parks were instrumental in changing the way that African Americans (people of colour) were treated in the United States.

For this activity, please consider the problem that black men and women faced in America at this time.

On your blog, describe the problem. What did Rosa Parks do about the problem? How did other people react?

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

DAY 3: Women’s Rights

Activity 1: The Right to Vote [4 points]

Kate Sheppard was a very famous and important New Zealander. In the late 1800s, she fought for women to have the right to vote in elections. She did this by creating petitions (lists with the names of people who supported her), running public meetings, writing letters to the newspaper, and talking to politicians.

As a result of her hard work, women in New Zealand (NZ) were first granted the right to vote in 1893. This made NZ the first country in the world to give women the right to vote. We call this right ‘women’s suffrage’.

In honour of Kate Sheppard’s work, the NZ government has put her image on the current $10 note.

For this activity, let’s imagine that the government decides to create a new $10 bank note and replace Kate with a picture of a different New Zealand woman.

On your blog, tell us who you think the government should put on the new $10 note. Please provide us with a picture of this amazing woman and a short explanation of why you have selected her as Kate Sheppard’s replacement.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: The Right to an Education [4 points]

Malala Yousafzai is a woman who was born and raised in Pakistan. In 2012, she was shot and wounded when traveling home on the bus from school. At the time, girls (and women) living in Pakistan were not encouraged, or even allowed, to go to school. It is widely believed that Malala was attacked because she (and her father) did not agree with this idea and they felt that women had the right to an education.

Once Malala recovered from her injuries she continued to advocate (fight) for the rights of all women to receive an education. For this work, she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 - the youngest person to ever receive this prestigious prize. You can read more of her story here.

As well as giving speeches in front of many very important and influential people, Malala has written books about her own life. She has also written a book for children called Malala’s Magic Pencil.

For this activity, we would like you like you to write a short story. The story can be about anything that you wish but to receive full points it must be at least 10 sentences long!

On your blog, share your short story. We can’t wait to read it!

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Belle of the Ball [6 points]

Emma Watson is a movie star who started acting in films when she was just nine years old. You might recognise her as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter films or ‘Belle’ from the Disney adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.

When Emma is not acting, she spends a lot of time giving speeches and advocating for the rights of women and girls. In 2014 she launched the HeForShe campaign which encourages men and boys to actively support women and girls by speaking out about gender equality - the idea that males (men) and females (women) have the same rights. Emma is also an avid reader who started her own worldwide book club!

Let’s imagine that Emma has just emailed you and asked for your help. She needs a recommendation for a great book for her book club. She also needs you to prepare a short review of the book to share with her readers.

For this activity, choose a book that you like and write a short review of it. In the review, tell us what the book is about and what you like about it.

On your blog, share your book review with a photo or illustration (drawing) of the book.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

DAY 4: Indigenous Rights

Activity 1: Guiding Principles [4 points]

Hōne Heke was a rangatira (chief) of Ngapuhi iwi in Northland. He was a strong and fearless warrior, and also an intelligent leader who fought for Māori rights during the British colonisation of Aotearoa, New Zealand. He was baptised a Christian in 1835 and had much respect for the missionaries that came to New Zealand. Hōne Heke supported Te Tiriti o Waitangi - the Treaty of Waitangi - and was the first rangatira to sign it in 1840.

However he soon realised that under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, Māori rangatira were losing their authority (power). In protest, he cut down the flagpole that flew the British flag at Kororareka (Russell) four times. He must have been very frustrated and angry.

Sometimes when we feel strongly (frustrated, angry, happy, excited, in awe…) we find it hard to put our feelings into words. Many cultures have sayings, proverbs or metaphors that can help people to explain their feelings or describe specific things. In Te Reo Māori, some people may use a whakataukī.

For this activity, read through the seven whakataukī (proverbs or metaphors) presented in this document. Choose one that has meaning for you. Create a poster that features the whakataukī and be sure to include at least one image (a drawing or photograph) on the poster that represents the whakataukī that you chose.

On your blog, share your poster of your whakataukī.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 2: Celebrating Diversity [4 points]

There are between 370 and 500 million Indigenous Peoples currently living in 90 countries around the world. Together, they represent over 5000 different cultures and speak 4000 different languages. That is pretty amazing ‘eh?! I wish that I could speak 4000 languages!

Indigenous People is the term used to describe the people who were the first inhabitants of a land. In Aotearoa, Māori are Indigenous. Indigenous people have rich and vibrant cultures that make the world such a fascinating, varied and enriching place to live.

For this activity we are going to become more familiar with some of these amazing indigenous communities. Please click on the links below to learn more about these fascinating groups.

Ainu People

Australian Aboriginal People

The Inuit People

Papuan People

The Maya People

Once you have finished learning about these groups, please choose the two that interest you the most.

On your blog tell us the names of the two groups that you chose and then tell us at least two interesting facts about each group. To earn full points, you must provide two facts about both groups - 4 facts in total.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Wise Words [4 points]

Sir Āpirana Ngata and Dame Whina Cooper were both influential leaders who fought for Māori rights. Āpirana Ngata was a lawyer and politician. He worked hard to give rights to Māori land owners, and he also spent a lot of his career encouraging Māori to preserve the culture - haka, poi, whakairo (carving), waiata (song), sport and the construction of more marae around Aotearoa, New Zealand.

Whina Cooper was the first president of the Māori Women’s Welfare League, which worked on improving health, education, housing and welfare for Māori women in New Zealand in the 1950s. She led the Māori land hikoi (march) from Northland to Wellington to protest against the loss of Māori land. She was nearly 80 years old at the time. Both of these individuals are examples of wise, inspiring leaders and role models.

For this activity, please identify someone in your life who is a role model to you. This could be a parent, grandparent, neighbour, minister, imam, rabbi etc. Please ask them to share one piece of wisdom (advice) with you that they think you and your blog readers should hear.

On your blog, share this wisdom with your readers.

Be sure you tell us who you heard it from and to use speech marks (“...”) if you are writing down exactly what they said.

DAY 5: Humanitarian Heroes

Activity 1: Everyday Heroes [4 points]

Every day, the men and women in the Emergency Services provide help and support people in New Zealand and around the world. At times, they have to risk their lives in order to save others.

Common Emergency Services include the Fire Service, the Police Force and the Ambulance Service. Other related services include the Air Ambulance, Search and Rescue, Coast Guard, Surf Lifesaving, and the Civil Defence (amongst others).

In Australia, Fire Services are currently fighting more than 150 wildfires burning in New South Wales, a province on the east coast of the country. The wildfires started in November 2019 and are not expected to stop for many weeks. It is a very challenging time for the men and women serving in the Emergency Services in Australia.

For this activity, please brainstorm at least five ways we could support the people who are affected by the fires in New South Wales, Australia. You could think of ways to raise money, things to send them, and ways to keep them feeling positive.

On your blog, share your brainstorm of ideas and create a video or audio recording of yourself explaining each idea.

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

Activity 2: Leading by Example [4 points]

Mother Teresa and Princess Diana were both people who wanted to do things to help others. They were very different people, however they both had a significant impact on the world.

Mother Teresa was born in Eastern Europe but decided at a young age that she wanted to be a missionary (a person who gets sent somewhere to share their religious faith and do charity work). She moved to India where she worked hard and cared for those who needed her the most. Her work was recognised by the Catholic Church, which gave her the title of ‘Saint’ Teresa.

Diana, while not officially a saint, was a real-life princess. In her role as a princess, she travelled the world raising awareness about a number of important issues. Through her work, Princess Diana helped the world to see that all people, including those affected by illness and disease, needed love and respect. Princess Diana and Mother Teresa both led by example with acts of kindness towards others.

For this activity, we would like you to follow in their footsteps and perform a random act of kindness.

On your blog, describe your random act of kindness. What did you do? How did the person react? How did it make you feel?

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!

Activity 3: Choose your own

You have now made it to the end of Week 2 and have earned the chance to choose your very own politician or activist who you think has changed the world. There are no right or wrong choices for this activity, so find someone who interests you and tell us about them on your blog. It could be someone from your family, church, community and/or someone famous who you admire.

Here are some starting points in case you get stuck:

Bill English

Xi Jinping

Pania Newton

Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Willie Apiata

Jane Fonda

For this activity, choose one person and read all about them.

On your blog, provide us with:

  1. The name of the person

  2. A description of the work they do/have done

  3. An explanation of how they/their work has had an impact on the lives of others

*Remember to attribute any images that you borrow from the internet or from other people.

*Please check out the Eye-Catching Blog Posts page for ideas!