Lessons

Fatal Extraction: Australian Mining in Africa- Ideas to support Eleanor Bell and Will Fitzgibbon's school visits

Objectives:

  1. Analyze the consequences of discrimination past and present
  2. Describe how geographic and environmental factors impact cooperation and conflict among societies

Essential Understandings:

  1. How people interact with others and the environment affects global activity.
  2. Differing perspectives and interpretations among individuals, groups, and societies may lead to conflict, cooperation, and/or interdependence.
  3. Societies struggle with individual needs versus the common good.

Instructions:

1. Read this comic and discuss the message with a partner. Then answer the following questions:

  1. What is discrimination?
  2. What evidence of discrimination can you see in the comic?
  3. What examples of discrimination in the past can you name?
  4. What current examples of discrimination can you name?
  5. What would you consider the opposite of discrimination?

2. Using those terms, what examples of anti-discrimination have you seen or been a part of recently?

3. With a partner, research and read key facts about the water crisis in Flint Michigan. Share as a class.

4. Individually read the following commentary from the Center for Public Integrity: The Deeper Meaning of Flint. Discuss the following questions as a class:

  1. What are the most important facts of the commentary?
  2. What evidence of discrimination is found in the commentary?
  3. How are geographic and environmental factors impacting cooperation and conflict in Flint, Michigan?
  4. What questions do you have about the commentary?

5. Research the following information and create a visible class list:

  1. What resources do we mine for across the world?
  2. What are the dangers of people working in mines?

6. Watch the video Blue Sky Mine by Midnight Oil and read the lyrics. Discuss as a class:

  1. What is the message of the song?
  2. How does the video make you feel?
  3. How does the video highlight individual need vs. the common good?

7. Find and watch Resource 1 (on the right hand side) to meet the journalists, Eleanor Bell and Will Fitzgibbon, who will be visiting with you soon. 

  1. What are you looking forward to learning about their project?
  2. What questions do you have for Ms. Bell and Mr. Fitzgibbon at this point?​

Post-visit learning assessment coming soon!​

Educator Notes: 

"Australian companies are the most numerous Western mining companies in Africa and have been linked to more than 380 deaths in on-site accidents and off-site skirmishes in Africa since 2004.

"The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) has used thousands of corporate records to detail how Australian companies can under-report deaths, injuries, legal actions or strikes. Never-before-seen court documents, legal complaints, community petitions, contracts and confidential company emails reveal the extent of Australia’s controversial imprint across Africa. Journalists Eleanor Bell and Will Fitzgibbon discuss the investigation."

Power Standards:

  1. Analyze the consequences of discrimination past and present
  2. Describe how geographic and environmental factors impact cooperation and conflict among societies

Applicable Essential Understandings to support 8th grade social science standards:

  1. How people interact with others and the environment affects global activity.
  2. Differing perspectives and interpretations among individuals, groups, and societies may lead to conflict, cooperation, and/or interdependence.
  3. Societies struggle with individual needs versus the common good.

Conceptual Lenses:

  1. Interdependence
  2. Perspective

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