In this class, students will learn about cooperative farming and mining. They will be able to identify the different perspectives of Bonsaaso residents on farming and mining. They will then begin to prepare for the Farming vs Mining Class Town Hall meeting, which they will participate in during the next class. The Western “town hall” format is used to support student understanding of the farming and mining-related issues facing the people of Bonsaaso.

Essential Questions

● How can we listen to opinions different from our own and not immediately cast judgment?

● Why is it helpful for farmers to form a cooperative?

● What are the different perspectives of farmers and miners regarding land use in Bonsaaso?

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

● Describe elements of Bonsaaso village cluster cooperative farming

● Articulate different perspectives regarding the conflict between farming and mining land in Ghana

● Establish talking points that represent different opinions of Bonsaaso community members about mining and farming. Remember, there are approximately 35,000 people in the Bonsaaso village cluster, and we are representing only a few voices from the village


Common Core State Standards






MVP Glossary

Cooperative Farming: a farm or multiple farms that are run in cooperation with others in the purchasing and operating of machinery, stock, etc., and in the marketing of produce.

Mining: the process or industry of obtaining gold, ore, metals, coal, or other minerals from a mine.

Town Hall Meeting: a forum, where individuals from a community come together to speak and share their opinions on an issue. Town hall meetings are a chance for community officials to hear the concerns of their constituents.

Materials for Instructor

MVP Target Areas for Sustainability for Teachers

Materials for Students

Town Hall Meeting Role Cards

Town Hall Talking Points Worksheet


I.  Introduction (5 min.)

Ask students what they remember from the last class. Project the filled-in Module Three MVP Target Areas for Sustainability Chart and review the categories. Tell students we will watch certain scenes again from the film All Fronts Forward and discuss cooperative farming and mining.

II.  Replay All Fronts Forward and Discuss (10-12 min.)

Step One

Cue film up to 5:00 min. and play until 8:25 min.

Step Two

Work with the class to create the definition of “cooperative farming” on the MVP Glossary Board.

Class discussion entry-point questions may include:

● What are some strategies used to support unity between the farmers?

Target Answers: Chanting; lead farmers educate younger farmers.

● What are strategies the farmers use to support their crop growth?

Target Answers: Planting seeds in specific areas; planting diversified seeds at different times of year.

● What are some of the issues that farmers have with the mining business?

Target Answers: Mining is destroying their crops and land. They are losing land and farmers to mining.


Step Three

Work with the class to create the definition of “mining” on the MVP Glossary Board.

Class discussion entry-point questions may include:

● What is the purpose of mining?

Target Answers: To obtain minerals from the earth.

● What are some benefits that the mining business brings to the community?

Target Answers: Employs people in the community; brings income into the community.


III.  Preparation for the Town Hall Meeting (20 min.)

Tell students that they are going to take part in a town hall meeting in which they will take on different community member roles to discuss the controversy between farmers and miners over the use of land in the Bonsaaso village cluster.

Remind them that this style of a town hall is based on a Western interpretation of a town hall, and that town hall meetings in the Bonsaaso village cluster may look very different.

In this activity, students will work in partners to create their talking points for the town hall meeting that will take place in the next class.

Step One

Have students partner. Distribute the following to each pair:

● One Town Hall Role Card


Step Two

Students will synthesize what they have learned from the film All Fronts Forward and Ed Kashi Photographer’s Statement to create at least three talking points from the perspective of the community member on their Role Card."

Have students fill in their talking points on the Town Hall Talking Points Worksheet.


IV. Closing Discussion (5 min.)

Discuss with students how their completed talking points will assist them in the next class as they conduct their town hall meeting. Ask students if they have any clarifying questions before they move into the next lesson.