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1 EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE THESE BIRDS WALK Lead Sponsor Exclusive Education Partner Docs For Schools Festival is generously supported by lead sponsor Scotiabank, and exclusive education partner Humber School of Media Studies & Information Technology. Additional support is provided by The Andy and Beth Burgess Foundation, The Hal Jackman Foundation, Deluxe, and through contributions by individual donors. Like us on Facebook.com/docsforschools

2 THESE BIRDS WALK Directed by Omar Mullick and Bassam Tariq 2013 USA 77 min TEACHER S GUIDE This guide has been designed to help teachers and students enrich their experience of THESE BIRDS WALK by providing support in the form of questions and activities. There are a range of questions that will help teachers frame discussions with their class, activities for before, during and after viewing the film and some weblinks that provide starting points for further research or discussion. The Film Driven out of their homes by poverty, abuse or neglect, runaway children in Karachi, Pakistan, have few safe havens from life on the city s streets. The Edhi Home and Ambulance Centre, however, accepts them all, providing shelter, food, schooling and an even rarer necessity love. Some children are quickly collected by a tearful parent, while others instinctively know their stays will be indefinite. Filmed over three years, a patient camera finds young boys at play, their teasing only a thin veil masking a deeper desire for understanding and friendship. Meanwhile, the home s aging founder mentors a young ambulance driver, once a street kid himself, to put the children first no matter what the cost. As one youngster is driven home through Taliban country, however, both caregiver and charge must face an unexpected reality. Tender and beautifully composed, These Birds Walk crafts an unforgettable portrait of where a city s most vulnerable and dedicated souls meet. Myrocia Watamaniuk Source: The Filmmaker Omar Mullick (co-director/cinematographer) Mullick is a photographer, cinematographer and filmmaker. His work as a photographer has appeared in The New York Times and National Geographic, and has received multiple awards. These Birds Walk is his first feature film. In 2012, Mullick was selected as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine. Bassam Tariq (co-director/producer) Tariq is an independent producer who has produced feature stories for Time magazine, Boing Boing, Atlas Obscura and Huffington Post. He is also the co-creator of the viral travel blog30 Mosques in 30 Days where he travelled with a friend across America showcasing the lives of American Muslims. The project was highlighted by NPR, BBC, Huffington Post and named CNN s Top Newsmakers of This is his first feature film. In 2012, Tariq was selected as one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker magazine. Source: Educational package written and compiled by Dimitra Tsanos 1

3 VIEWING THE FILM WITH STUDENTS The following three subsections are intended to provide you with a range of Pre-Viewing, Viewing and Post-Viewing activities. They are followed by a set of questions based upon the film s larger thematic domains, some follow-up questions and quotations, sample curricular outcomes and a page of weblinks for further investigation. Pre-Viewing Activities Show students the trailer for the film found on the films website (http://thesebirdswalk.net). Have students work in small groups to try and identify themes or ideas conveyed by the trailer. As a larger group, discuss with students how effective/affective the trailer is a media piece. Print several of the questions or quotations from the Extension Activities section of this guide on individual sheets of paper. Have students work in small groups or with partners to discuss if they agree with the ideas. Set a purpose for viewing by having a discussion about one or more of the questions or quotations from the Extension Activities section of this guide. Have them share the statement and what they think or believe about it with the class. Have students define humanitarian. They can use a word organizer by dividing a box in four. In each of the four boxes, have them write in one corner the following: Definition, Nonexamples, Examples and Use in a sentence. Ask the class their opinion about volunteering and helping those in need. Take it up as a class. For homework, have students visit the Edhi Foundation website (http://www.edhifoundation.com) to research the organization and its founder, Abdul Sattar Edhi. Take it up as a class the next day. Viewing Activities Have students complete the PBS viewing guide on documentaries (http://www.pbs.org/pov/docs/copies%20 of%20viewing%20guide.pdf). Students can revisit their completed documents as a Post-Viewing Activity. Have students jot down five ideas for discussion, or questions that the film raised in their minds. Have students use a Venn diagram to compare the life of a boy in the Edhi home to their own life. Have students look at the symbolism throughout the film to illustrate the children s struggle with family and running away. Examples include flying gulls, jumping in the water and pigeons flocking and flying in the air. Post-Viewing Activities Show the students their quotations from the Pre-Viewing Activity and see if their minds were changed or opinions altered or enhanced by the film. Assign some of the questions and quotations from the Extension Activities section of this guide for homework to be taken up the next day in class. Check for completion. Have students complete an exit note (a single small sheet of paper with one phrase or idea written on it) that demonstrates one thing they have learned, felt or decided as a result of watching the film. 2

4 Discuss with students their initial reactions to the various scenes and situations addressed in the film. Have students use a Venn diagram to compare the young activist Malala Yousafzai to Abdul Sattar Edhi. An article about Malala (http://world.time.com/2013/07/15/pakistansmalala-problem-teen-activists-global-celebrity-not-matchedat-home/) will help with the activity. Have students write three diary entries from the perspective of a child in the runaway home from the film. The first entry can describe their experiences as soon as they arrived. The second entry can describe how they felt while in the home. And the third entry can describe their return home. Have a class discussion about the Nobel Peace Prize (http:// ww.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace). Discuss what the requirements are for winning the prize and analyze some of the previous recipients and their contributions. The Huffington Post has a short article about the topic (http:// ww.huffingtonpost.com/saad-khan/post-nobel-scribblingswh_b_ html). Have students write a blog titled Why Abdul Sattar Edhi Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. An example of this can be found on The Telegraph s website (http://blogs.telegraph. co.uk/news/peteroborne/ /the-most-wonderfulperson-i-have-ever-met/). Show students this one-minute video showcasing Time magazine s Person of the Year covers from 1927 to 2012 (http://poy.time.com/2013/12/05/watch-every-time-personof-the-year-in-30-seconds/), and the magazine s Person of the Year cover archive (http://topics.time.com/person-of-theyear/covers). Have students create their own Person of the Year cover on the computer using photo software. Students may use any character from the film. Have students write a short description that explains why the person deserves this recognition. With partners, students will type a three- to four-page report on an individual who has been influential in addressing human welfare issues. The assignment and rubric, titled Influential Humanitarians, can be found on the following pages. 3

5 Websites and Online Resources About the Film Facebook: Twitter: Additional Resources The Edhi Foundation: Edhi Foundation is a nonprofit organization that has been in the business of providing social services like medical care, emergency services, air ambulances, burial services, mental habitats, old homes, child welfare services, abused women safe houses and training facilities for the disadvantaged. Edhi s founder is Abdul Sattar Edhi who established the first clinic in BBC: Pakistan country profile. Covenant House: Canada s largest youth shelter is in Toronto, but the shelter can be found across Canada. It provides a home for homeless youth between the ages of 16 and 24. A subpage on facts and stats is useful for background information. Maclean s magazine: A June 4, 2013, article titled The Future is Young in Pakistan looks at the youth movement in politics. Malala Fund: The fund is dedicated to reducing poverty by educating young females who can lead social and economic improvements in their communities. Various Links for Lesson Plan Ideas, Media Awareness, Critical Literacy and Documentary Films Centre for Media Literacy: A U.S. website which provides several resources for making, understanding and criticizing media. Hot Docs Looking at Documentaries: A teaching guide that sets out questions designed to help teachers include the study of documentary film in their curriculum. Free PDF download. resource_materials Media Awareness: A Canadian nonprofit media education and Internet literacy resource library. The National Film Board of Canada: On this site is an area with teaching resources and short documentary films that can be used as teaching aides. Using Docs in The Classroom: A teacher librarian s personal website where there are excellent resources for teaching with documentary films. Médecins Sans Frontières: An overview of the key medical figures and facts and services MSF offers in Pakistan. Nobel Peace Prize: A brief description and overview of the award and its previous recipients. UNICEF, Pakistan: A backgrounder on the issues children are facing in Pakistan. 4

6 Extension Activities Additional Questions for Pre-Viewing or Post-Viewing Activities Why did the filmmaker choose the opening scene with Omar running? Was it effective? Why is the film titled These Birds Walk? What is the meaning behind the title? Why do you think the founder of the Edhi Foundation, Abdul Sattar Edhi, is not in more of the film? What kinds of interactions exist in the Edhi home? Describe three different personalities of the children in the home and how each copes with their situation. Describe what life is like in the Edhi home? Compare it to your life. Why did the filmmakers choose to focus on Omar? What are some of the reasons that so many children are running away? What are they running from? What do they hope to gain? Abdul shows passion about children which are not his own. Are you surprised at the parents reactions when Omar and Mumtaz are returned home? Is it strange that the same vehicle is used as an ambulance/ hearse and also used to return children to their homes? What are the themes and focus of this film? How does the film convey a sense of hope? Quotations From the Film to Explore 1. You have come here, but why? You heard from people about me. You read books, news articles and now you are filming me. But if you want to find me among the people, I come from ordinary people and to find me, look among ordinary people. My story is there. Abdul Sattar Edhi, founder of Edhi Foundation 2. Helping these people, finding lost kids. It has made me feel better. So much better that it s now been three years. This work, these people s. Asad, ambulance driver 3. Time and circumstances have taught me everything. Mumtaz, runaway 4. I m tired of running. If we run from here, where are we going to go? We ll go home soon and stay there. Mumtaz, runaway 5. We ll tell your parents to not beat you, don t worry. If they beat you, we ll bring you back. Asad 6. I d be happier if you brought his corpse. Uncle, as a runaway is returned home 7. I feel as if I could die tomorrow. But the days keep coming. But what I ve been given is for doing good, and that is my life. Abdul Sattar Edhi 8. Dear, dear God I miss falling asleep with my brothers and sisters. It was so much fun. Now I am alone. I can t sleep. What do you want me to do? Should I kill myself? Dear God, tell me what to do. Omar, nighttime prayer 9. It s easier to transport dead bodies than take these kids home. Asad 10. What s up with you running? I saw you running from afar. What is it about running? Never mind this country is such that everyone runs after a prayer. Asad to Omar after his visit to the shrine 5

7 CULMINATING Activity: INFLUENTIAL HUMANITARIANS The dictionary defines a humanitarian as One who is devoted to the promotion of human welfare and the advancement of social reforms; a philanthropist (source: You will need to research an individual who has been influential in addressing human welfare issues and evaluate the impact of their work. Work with a partner and choose from one of the following individuals: Abdul Sattar Edhi Nelson Mandela Mahatma Gandhi Craig Kielburger Tommy Douglas Martin Luther King Jr. Helen Keller Stephen Lewis Desmond Tutu Benazir Bhutto Malala Yousafzai Mother Teresa Eva Peron Naomi Bronstein Bono Agnes Macphail Jean Vanier Harvey Milk Aung San Suu Kyi Roméo Dallaire In your report, make sure to include the following: Who this individual is (include a photo) The issue(s) they focus on A summary and timeline of individual Their involvement in politics (elected, activism), if any Their Your report should be between three and four typed pages, double-spaced using 12-sized Arial font and 1 borders. Make sure to use the rubric to clarify the expectations for the assignment. 6

8 INFLUENTIAL HUMANITARIANS RUBRIC Name: Group: Knowledge/Understanding Introduction A summary of individual, what issues have they addressed Limited success in identifying issues and Some success in identifying issues and Moderate success in identifying issues and Identifies issues and with a high degree of success /5 Thinking/Inquiry Biography Description of major and their involvement in politics Information indicates limited research skills and does not include sufficient information Information indicates moderately effective research skills on their Information indicates effective research skills with most examined and considered Information indicates excellent research skills with all thoroughly examined and considered /5 Application Writing Style Reports in writing with clarity and correct grammar (3-4 typed pages) Communicates in writing with limited Communicates in writing with some Communicates in writing with considerable Communicates in writing with a high degree of /5 Communication Connections Making connections within and between various contexts (e.g., past, present and future; personal) Connections were not apparent Makes connections within and between various contexts with limited Makes connections within and between various contexts with some Makes connections within and between various contexts with considerable /5 Comments: Total: /20 7

9 Examples of Curriculum Expectations COURSE Grades 7 & 8 Languages Grades 9-12 English Grade 10 Civics OVERALL EXPECTATIONS generate, gather and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience. use writing for various purposes and in a range of contexts (e.g., to clarify personal concerns and to explore social issues). draft and revise their writing, using a variety of informational, literary and graphic forms and stylistic elements appropriate for the purpose and audience. Developing and Organizing Content: generate, gather and organize ideas and information to write for an intended purpose and audience. Understanding Media Forms, Conventions and Techniques: identify some media forms and explain how the conventions and techniques associated with them are used to create meaning. Understanding Media Texts: demonstrate an understanding of a variety of media texts. analyze responses at the local, national and international levels to civic issues that involve multiple perspectives and differing civic purposes. demonstrate an understanding of the beliefs and values underlying democratic citizenship and explain how they guide citizens actions. demonstrate an understanding of the various ways in which decisions are made and conflicts resolved in matters of civic importance, and the various ways in which individual citizens participate in these processes. Grade 9 Geography report on global issues that affect Canadians. Grade 11 Family Studies Grade 11 Politics identify and describe environments provided by families, care-givers and others that offer positive conditions for child development. demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of human interaction and communication with others. demonstrate an understanding of the challenges involved in human interaction. evaluate various global influences on children and families. analyze how families are affected by global disparities in wealth and resources. describe the key features of citizenship and democracy. evaluate the influence of various forms of citizen action on public policy. explain ways in which social and cultural identity influence political participation. explain power relationships among individuals, groups and governments. evaluate different approaches to conflict resolution. Grade 12 Family Studies analyze decisions and behaviours related to individual role expectations. analyze current issues and trends affecting the dynamics of intimate relationships, and speculate on future directions for individuals and families. analyze the many relationships that are a part of human development. demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which communication and problem-solving skills are essential to human development. The Overall Expectations listed above are from The Ontario Curriculum. Complete course descriptions, including all Overall and Specific Expectations, can be found at: 8

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