Language Arts / English


Language Arts / English

Take a stand



Global Goal


Critical Thinking

Age Group

12-13 years / Grade 8

Learning Standards

McREL Language Arts: Standard 8 - Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes




Even in this day and age, exist perils like child marriage. While child marriage is a human rights violation, most people do not seem to find it a violation worth fighting against. This truly inspiring story from Club Tuseme, Ceg Tindji, Zou, Benin highlights the boldness and critical thinking skills of the young superheroes.

While the adults are either enforcing this evil or are silent spectators, the brave kids decide to fight the problem. After analyzing the situation among the community members, these determined souls used their skills to spread awareness about important ideas like the right to education and right age for marriage.

Lesson Plan


  • Start with an example where critical thinking is used, like Gender socializing is communal everywhere in the world at varying levels. The most common one is that all girls are supposed to like doll houses and all boys are supposed to like toy robots. What happens if you see a boy brings his Barbie to school every day? Would that turn heads? Why; ever think about that? Most importantly should this change and can it change?
  • Play the video BTC2014 Benin: Fighting against forced marriage ( And the teacher start the conversation with the following questions:
    • What were the students in the video do to bring the change?
    • Draw connections with the video to your own country.
    • Why is critical thinking so important?
    • What is one thing that you would have done differently than the students in the video?
  • When posed with a thought-provoking prompt, students line themselves up along a U-shaped continuum representing where they stand on that issue. The sides of the U are opposite extremes, with the middle being neutral. Start a discussion by giving equal opportunity for individuals in each area of the continuum to speak about their stand. The students use “I” statements when stating their opinion.

  • Some questions can be:

    • Do only boys like to play basketball?
    • Can only girls can cook?
    • Should boys cry?
    • Are girls strong?
    • Are all boys mean?
    • Can girls run very fast?
    • Do girls really like pink and boys like blue?
  • Teacher Tip: Demonstrate with one example question but different answers. Make the questions more challenging if necessary.

Closing the Loop and Assessment:

  • Emphasize on the idea that: It is important to study and analyze a problem and people associated with it before prematurely coming to conclusive solutions. A problem has many solutions but to find the best-suited solution, always requires critical thinking.
  • At the close of the session, ask the students to think, pair, share about 1-2 actions they would do differently after this lesson.
  • The teacher can ask the students to complete the following self-reflection using the following rating scale:

1 = Not Yet, 2 = Need Support, 3 = Making efforts, 4 = Almost a habit, 5 = I CAN

  • I am able to identify opportunities of change _____
  • I am able to identify who the different people involved in a problem are _____
  • I am able to identify what might be causing a problem _____
  • I am able to understand different parts of a problem before jumping to a conclusion_____
  • Suggested activity: Identify problems in your country that are omnipresent across and it would be important to use critical thinking before problem-solving them.