Israeli pupils take part in UNICEF’s World’s Largest Lesson.
(photo credit: LIDAR GRAVÉ-LAZI)
Tens of thousands of Israeli pupils joined with children from around the world on Monday in the “World’s Largest Lesson,” in partnership with UNICEF and the education ministry.
The World’s Largest Lesson aims to introduce children around the world to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by 193 world leaders in September 2015.
The idea is to expose every child around the world to the various goals via lesson plans, movies, comic strips, class discussions and other activities.
Fifth grade pupils at Shazar Elementary School in Herzliya took part on Monday and focused on goal number 10, minimizing inequality.
The lesson opened with a short film titled, All Different-All Equal
, which depicted a green animated character trying to fit in with homogeneous white creatures, only to discover that all the creatures are, in fact, multi-colored.
The movie prompted a discussion about being different and about accepting “the other.”
“The character felt lonely and isolated because he was different,” one fifth-grader pointed out.
“In the end, they all accepted their differences and they were taller and prouder because of it,” another pupil said.
The children were encouraged to provide examples of discrimination from their daily lives, such as excluding someone from a soccer game or class boycotts against a particular pupil.
The class discussed terms such as discrimination, boycotts, acceptance and equality.
After the formal lesson, the children were divided into groups to design posters to raise awareness of inequality.
A few of the slogans the children came up with were, “When there is equality there is security” and “If you are different you are equal” – both of which rhyme in Hebrew – and “We see an equal world.”
“We immediately signed up for the lesson because we think this is a basic right, especially for children,” the school’s principal, Orly Perlman told The Jerusalem Post.
“In our ongoing activities we learn about the right to dignity and how to live a healthy life,” she said. “So this lesson is very pertinent.”
In fact, the motto of helping and caring for others is seen on posters throughout the school as well as in the behavior of its pupils, as older children were seen making way for he younger ones in the hallways and on the playground.
Some 1,000 classrooms and tens of thousands of pupils from third through 11th grades in Israel are set to take part in the global initiative, which will run throughout the week.
Jonny Cline, executive director of UNICEF Israel, said ahead of the lesson that “UNICEF Israel is proud to take part in the global project that involves children in finding the solution to the challenges facing us today and that encourages the children of Israel to promote changes in society.”
Last year the World’s Largest Lesson included millions of children in some 160 countries worldwide and focused on climate change.
Among the 17 goals of the program are affordable and clean energy; greater justice; stronger institutions, an end extreme poverty, injustice, hunger and inequality; and to fix climate change within 15 years.