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Teachers: Citizenship: Globalisation Social

Last Updated: Friday March 04 2005 15:48 GMT

Red Nose Day

McFly in Africa for Comic Relief
McFly have visited Africa to spend time with children for Comic Relief.

The boyband, who are singing the official song for the charity, visited children who have affected by Aids - many of them having lost one or both parents.

They also went to medical centres and slums in Kampala to find out more about how Comic Relief money is spent to help people.

Friday March 11 is Red Nose Day and the theme this year is Big Hair & Beyond, which is all about changing your look.

Comic Relief hope that by spraying your hair red or wearing pyjamas for the day you can raise money that will help transform someone's life forever.


Red Nose Day 05. Big Hair and Beyond.
In this lesson, students learn about the lives of four African children who are too poor to go to school and consider what they can do to help.

This 35-60 minute lesson (for secondary school pupils) has been written by the Red Nose Day team.

It is featured in the schools' kit and is also available in the Schools' section of the RND'05 website, where there are also several other lesson plans for primary, secondary and nursery pupils.

For loads of great teaching resources, go to the Web Links box in the top right hand corner.

Learning aims
  • Reflect on the nature of friendship, its benefits and responsibilities.
  • Identify and appreciate the similarities and differences between people.
  • Understand why not all children have the opportunity to attend school.
  • Employ some methods of taking action and recognise their potential impact.
The lesson is made up of three activities.

Pick one for each section of the lesson depending how much time you have!

If you only have time for one activity, do activity 2 - Virtual Friends.

Activity 1

What's a good friend?

In small groups students discuss the following scenarios and come up with two different endings:

  • a good friend ending
  • a bad friend ending.
These scenarios are available on a separate printable worksheet.
Real children from Ghana and Uganda. (Photo: Nick David, Comic Relief)

Scenario 1. You left school promptly because you had to go to the shops on your way home. You are now on a bus that passes the school gates. As you pass the school, you see your friend standing on the pavement outside, surrounded by a well-known gang of bullies who seem to be threatening him/her. What do you do?

Scenario 2. You go shopping with your friend. Suddenly you notice that s/he is slipping an item under his/her jacket and is preparing to leave the shop without paying for it. What do you do?

Scenario 3. You discover that someone else is seeing your friend's girl/boyfriend. You're pretty certain your friend doesn't know about this because she/he has just been telling you about their next date together. What do you do?

Scenario 4. Your best friend's family doesn't have much money and often his/her mum can't give him/her anything for lunch. You don't have much either but you do usually have some food or money to buy something with. What do you do when it comes to lunchtime?

Scenario 5. A new pupil joins your class. S/he is shy and doesn't have the right uniform. Some of your classmates take the opportunity to taunt her/him at break time. S/he is obviously scared and tries to get away from them. What do you do?

Different groups role play different endings and perform them in front of the class.

Students discuss what made the difference between the good friends and the bad friends and why.

Activity 2

Virtual Friends

In groups, students read about one of four children or "virtual friends" from Ghana or Uganda.

Real children from Ghana and Uganda. (Photo: Nick David, Comic Relief)

Their stories are available as printable worksheets. They are also printed on the back of the posters from the Red Nose Day schools' kit.

Students then plan how to introduce this friend to the rest of the class.

This can be through an virtual interview with the friend or a presentation about them.

Students may want to consider:

  • Where their virtual friend lives?
  • Who they live with?
  • What they like doing?
  • What sort of work they do?
  • Why they are not in school?
Ask students:
  • What do the virtual friends have in common with each other?
  • What do they have in common with you?
  • What are the differences between their lives and yours? One difference is that they do not go to school.
Make a class list of all the ideas. You could use two headings:
  • What is the same? E.g. they like football.
  • What is different? E.g. they have to fetch water from the well.
You can use the RND '05 Schools' video to introduce and support the activities.

Also, if you want to find out more about these virtual friends' lives, there is an interactive guide, video clips, photo gallery and other information available on the Schools section of the RND'05 website. Go to the Web Links box in the top right hand corner.

Activity 3

Making it happen

Ask students to think back to the good friend/bad friend scenarios.

Ask students: How often did the good friend make a difference by taking some action to change what was happening?

Now think about what you could do to change the situation for your virtual friends so that they will be able to go to school. They can't achieve this on their own.

Many of the causes of their poverty and lack of schooling lie in international politics and economics that are beyond their control. So they need help from outside.

Ask students: What can you do to help?

Make a class list of their suggestions.

Here are some ideas:

Red Nose Day 05
1. Raise lots of money for Red Nose Day. The money will help to fund projects that enable poverty-stricken families to improve their situation so that their children can go to school. Fundraising ideas include:

  • Re-do your hairdo. Spike it, shave it or spray it red.
  • Wear red from top to toe.
  • Get sponsored to wear your pyjamas all day.
  • Hop everywhere.
  • Have a sponsored silence.
  • Sing everything you say all day, then charge people to make you stop.
  • Dress up as your teacher or your favourite celebrity.
  • Wear your clothes back to front for the day.
  • Get sponsored to make the biggest, reddest papier mache nose you can.
  • Say the words "that's a relief" at the end of every sentence on 11 March.
There are loads of other fundraising ideas on the RND'05 website.

2. Tell world leaders to do as much as possible to help kids in developing countries.

Students can do this by taking part in the Send My Friend to School Challenge.

This involves making paper cut-outs of children, called buddies, and sending them to the eight most powerful world leaders (the G8), who meet in Scotland this July.

Each buddy, accompanied by a message about the importance of education, represents one of the 100 million children who are too poor to go to school. Buddies can also be made and sent online.

Children and schools in over 100 countries will be taking part and some of the messages will also go to New York in September to a special meeting of the UN.

The Send My Friend to School Challenge is being organised by the Global Campaign for Education (GCE) as part of the 2005 Make Poverty History movement.

For more information, go to

3. Look out for and persuade friends and families to buy Fairtrade goods.

If farmers in poorer countries can get a fair price for their crops, they earn enough money to invest in more seeds, better and more environmentally sound farming techniques and better lives for their families.

How many Fairtrade products have students seen in the supermarket? Make a class list of them.

For more information on Fairtrade, visit the Fairtrade, Kuapa Kokoo and Dubble chocolate websites. There is also a Red Nose Day lesson about trade in the Schools section of their website. Go to the Web Links box in the top right hand corner for all the links.


Ask students:

  • What is stopping over 100 million young people from going to school?
  • If you were to pick one way in which you could help them, what would it be?
Teachers' background

Red Nose Day kits

Over 40,000 Red Nose Day kits have been sent out to schools in the UK. All the resources needed for Red Nose Day in school are also available on the Schools section of the RND'05 website.

The resources include:

  • lesson plans, assemblies and tutor time ideas
  • fundraising ideas and a guide to organising fundraising events
  • stories of real children from Ghana and Uganda plus pictures, interactive guides, facts and figures.

What is the Global Campaign for Education?

The GCE is a worldwide coalition made up of non-governmental organisations and teaching unions in over 150 countries. They believe that every child should have free, quality education, and the chance that education brings to escape a lifetime of poverty.

The Send My Friend to School Challenge has been organised by the Global Campaign for Education as part of Make Poverty History. It seeks to highlight that unfair trade rules, debt repayments and the strings attached to aid funds all prevent poor countries providing free education.

Make Poverty History believe education is vitally important in beating poverty and one of the best ways nations can improve their people's prospects of freeing themselves from the need for aid in the future.

The international symbol of Make Poverty History is a white band which is worn by all its supporters.

For hundreds more news-based lessons, click on Teachers on the left hand side.

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