Home Learning Project
Child Soldiers – Project Africa
Home Learning Project
Digital Studies Teacher:
Teacher’s Comment (WWW):
Level for writing:
To improve (EBI):
Level for reading:
This home learning project is about charities in Africa who are trying to help
children who become child soldiers.
Start looking in newspapers, on the internet or watch the news to find out
information about child soldiers in Africa.
How to complete this booklet
You should complete each activity in order to build up your skills and knowledge.
Altogether the assignments should take about six hours to complete.
If you do not have access to a computer at home, remember you can use the
homework club at JHNCC, the library in your breaks or the Digital Studies rooms
if they are available.
Remember, you must always ask your teacher and your parents if you need
help or want something to be explained differently.
Read the following article taken from: 20 mins
More than 300,000 child soldiers are fighting in armed conflicts in more than thirty countries
According to one group commander in the Democratic Republic of Congo, "[children] make good
fighters because they're young and want to show off. They think it's all a game, so they're
A large number come from disrupted family backgrounds, economically or socially deprived
families or are children who come from conflict zones themselves.
Widely perceived to be a cheap and expendable
commodity, child soldiers tend to receive little
or no training before being thrust into the
front line. In the early 1980s, during the Iran-
Iraq war, thousands of Iranian children, many
straight from school, were sent with popular
militias to the frontline, often given a symbolic
key to the paradise promised them as martyrs.
Most prevalent are child soldiers in Africa and
Asia, but across the globe it is a growing
phenomenon. One of the reasons behind its
growth is the shortage of male recruits in
countries at war. And with the technological development of smaller more lightweight weapons
children are able to load, carry and fire deadly arms.
One former child soldier from Burundi stated that, "My first role was to carry a torch for
grown-up rebels. Later I was shown how to use hand grenades. Barely within a month or so, I
was carrying an AK-47 rifle or even a G3."
Once recruited, the children are often treated brutally and punishments for mistakes or
desertion are severe.
Not all child soldiers are forced to kill, yet the horrors they suffer will continue to haunt them
for the rest of their lives. One Peruvian woman recruited by The Shining Path at the age of 11
recalls, "They beat all the people there, old and young, they killed them all, nearly 10 people...
like dogs they killed them... I didn't kill anyone, but I saw them killing... the children who were
with them killed too... with weapons... they made us drink the blood of people…"
Besides the risk of death or injury in combat, child soldiers suffer disproportionately from the
rigours of military life. Younger children collapse under heavy loads, malnutrition, respiratory
and skin infections and other ailments are frequent.
Reading Skills: Key Word Definitions Task
Key Word Definition Synonyms
Can you use it in a
1) Using a dictionary, research the meaning of
the key words for this topic.
Reading Skills: Understanding the writer’s viewpoint and language choices.
(AF5 and AF6)
How did the article make you feel? Use your emotions to describe what you have
read. Pick one piece of information from the text to help explain your answer.
Find three sentences (or parts of sentences) in the text you have read that
describe the backgrounds of the children who become child soldiers.
Backgrounds = what the children’s lives were like before they became soldiers.
Look at the image in the article. Describe what you see.
Use adjectives, similes (comparisons using like or as) and onomatopoeia (words
that imitate sounds) to aid your description.
2) Now you have read the online article, answer
the questions in the boxes provided.
KEY WORDS to use to help you: fighting, cheap,
shortage, commodity, expendable, punished,
illness, malnutrition, death.
How do these three things make the reader feel? Can you explain why?
1. Over 300,000 child soldiers
2. Cheap, expendable
3. Girls are recruited as soldiers
How do you think you could help these children? Do they even need help?
3) Research the following websites and answer the
What does this
Explain 3 ways
What sort of
used? Why are
4) Read the introduction to becoming a child soldier on the
following page. Continue the story as if you are the child
whose life is about to change. Before you write it you
must plan and include the following:
• Your feelings – what do you hear, see, smell?
• How do you feel – scared, honoured, unsure?
• How are you treated – good, bad?
• Are you fed and given water?
• Are you handcuffed or tied up?
• Do you go on a long journey away from your family?
5) 1 hour
You're lying in your bed and slowly drift off to sleep. Suddenly, you are awakened by violent
screams. You are frozen with fear. The door of your room bursts open and before you know it
you have been picked up by strange men in uniform and are being dragged out of your house and
thrown into a truck with twenty other teenagers your age. It is still dark outside and difficult
to see exactly what is going on. But you already know what's happening.
You are about to become a 'child soldier'.
Your answer must be no less than 500 words and must include adjectives, simple,
complex and compound sentences. It should also use punctuation for effect. For
example, exclamation marks to show feeling, horror etc.
When you have planned your answer it needs to written up digitally using the
computer. You need to use Word for this exercise and ensure your grammar,
punctuation and spelling is checked. REMEMBER: if a red dotted line appears
under the text, then it is incorrect and needs changing.
Use this space for any additional planning.
Digital Studies: AF1 (Planning, Developing and Evaluating) Level Ladder
Level Success Criteria
5 You can demonstrate that you can:
Use a range of ICT tools and techniques to organise
solutions to a problem
Judge how successful your work has been in
achieving your goal, and identify ways in which you
could improve it
Identify the advantages and disadvantages of using
ICT both inside and outside school
6 You can demonstrate that you can:
Plan and develop ways to solve problems using
different ICT tools and techniques efficiently
Use success criteria and feedback to improve the
effectiveness of your solution
Explore the impacts of the use of ICT in work,
leisure and home
7 You can demonstrate that you can:
Design and plan an ICT-based system by:
Selecting which information is relevant to your
query, and ensuring that it is useful and efficient
devising and applying success criteria to ensure a
quality solution, refining work as it progresses
identifying the advantages and limitations of the
Identify the impact of ICT on people, communities
Digital Literacy: Developing
What to include:
Produce at least 3 PowerPoint slides to present your case study.
How is the charity helping in one particular region of Africa?
Use appropriate images.
Use descriptive language.
Use an appropriate typeface or font.
Once you have completed it, check it and print it off as a hand out.
Find your blog on www.wordpress.com
6) Now you have completed your extended piece
of writing, produce a case study on PowerPoint
about one of the charities you have
7) Now upload your piece of creative writing to
your own blog and explain what you have done
on your blog.
Once you’re happy with your HLP, complete the self-assessment below. After
you’ve done it, you might want a parent or adult to have a look – they may think
you’ve done better than you think you have or inspire you to redraft.
Self-Assessment: How have I done?
Give yourself a tick if you think you’ve shown the following writing. If you’ve tried
– but aren’t sure you’ve mastered it – put a question mark in the box and if you
haven’t done it put a cross.
Have I… √? X
Used commas and full stops accurately
Used speech marks and colons and semi-colons
Used varied and interesting words to describe
Used simple and compound sentences
Used complex sentences
Used connectives, such as meanwhile, although,
Used paragraphs which link together
Given a clear view point
Used my imagination
Used words which suit my audience
Spelt the most commonly used words correctly
Spelt most words correctly, including more unusual choices
Used colour and pictures to appeal to my reader
WRITING Pupil name _____________________________ English Class ________________ Date
AF6 – write accurately, using correct
sentences and punctuation
AF3 – organise and present texts
AF2 – Produce texts suitable for your purpose and
Level 7 • I write with a variety of sentence
types which I can use judiciously
across the text to achieve my purpose
and overall effect, with rare loss of
• I use a range of features to
shape/craft sentences that have
individual merit and contribute to the
overall development of the text.
• My writing uses information, ideas and events
which are skilfully managed and shaped to
achieve my intended purpose and effect, e.g.
development of character, plot, event, or
sides of an argument, are paced across the
• I also use a variety of devices to position the
• I can make imaginative and generally successful
adaptations of a wide range of forms and conventions
to suit a variety of purposes and audiences.
• I write with a well judged, distinctive individual voice
and point of view which is established and sustained
throughout my writing.
• I can vary the level of formality and choose to use
other stylistic devices within my writing for effect.
Level 6 • My sentences use the full range of
punctuation and are consistently
• There is variety in my sentence
structure with only occasional errors
in ambitious structures, e.g. only
occasional comma splices, some use of
semi-colons, not always accurate.
• My writing is clearly controlled and
sequenced, taking account of the reader’s
likely reaction, e.g. differing length
paragraphs, use of flashback in narrative,
anticipating reader’s questions.
• I use a range of features to clearly signal the
overall direction of the text for the reader.
• My writing is imaginative and I am familiar with
different writing conventions, which I try to use.
• I can establish a point of view and try to sustain it
• I try to change my formality and use stylistic devices
to suit my audience and purpose, for example I can
use literary devices as easily as I can use
Level 5 • You use a full range of punctuation
correctly most of the time
• You use punctuation within sentences
correctly and structure your
• Your ideas are structured clearly
• Your closing paragraph refers back to your
• You link your paragraphs clearly
• You clearly write to inform, explain and describe,
using appropriate devices
• You use the right style and keep your reader
Look at the writing grid above. Tick what you think you have done really well. What level do you think you have achieved for your child soldier piece of
My level is _________________________________________________________________________________________________.
I need to improve on _________________________________________________________________________________________