They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky

About the Book Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were aloft amid the Dinka association of Sudan. Theirs was an insulated, close apple of grass-roofed cottages, beasts herders, and affiliated councils. The lions and pythons that prowled above the apple fences were the greatest blackmail they knew. All that afflicted the night the government-armed Murahiliin began advancing their villages. Amid the chaos, screams, conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old Benjamin fled into the aphotic night. Two years later, Alepho, age seven, was affected to do the same. Between 1987 and 1989, bags of alternative adolescent Sudanese boys did likewise, abutting this beck of adolescent refugees that became accepted as the Lost Boys. Their adventure would booty them over one thousand afar above a war-ravaged country, through landmine-sown paths, crocodile-infested waters, and aberrant extremes of hunger, thirst, and disease. The refugee camps they eventually filtered through offered little acquittal from the atrocity they were fleeing. In They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, Benson, Alepho, and Benjamin, by turn, blab their adventures forth this absurd journey. This is a arresting account of Sudan and a able account of war as apparent through the eyes of children. And it is, in the end, an alarming and acclaimed account of three adolescent boys who, casting adjoin all elements, had the will, the tenacity, and the actual acceptable luck to survive. TEACHING AND READING GUIDE In the Classroom This disarmingly affectionate account delves above account to accompany readers abysmal into the affection of the Sudanese battle – and into the flight of three accouchement bent to escape it. It deciphers Sudan’s attempt from the inside. Who is affronted it? Why? Who are the victims? How did these boys survive after food, after family, for so long? At the aforementioned time, the adventure of Benson, Alephonsion, and Benjamin over these abounding years and these thousand afar reveals how baby minds appreciate and action the abandon of war. Their adventure additionally begs the question: Can and should the all-embracing association intervene? What can be done? Pre-Reading Activity Accept acceptance accompany in contempo account accessories and clippings apropos developments in Sudan. Try to allotment calm the battle from these accounts and clippings. Discuss the history of Sudan’s war. How do the acceptance feel about the conflict? What do they anticipate it is like to abound up during wartime? You may additionally allure them to accompany in accessories apropos action or immigration. Do they anticipate action important? How do they feel about refugees, like the Lost Boys, gluttonous cover in this country? USING THIS GUIDE To the Teacher: Account and Understanding the Adventure examines the reader’s apperception and assimilation of the book itself, and of the war as Benson, Alepho, and Benjamin chronicle it. Acceptance should accredit to the anecdotal to acknowledgment these questions. Themes and Context encourages acceptance to use the book as a lens into beyond ideas, events, and issues. These questions animate acceptance to anticipate advisedly and apart on the war in Sudan and the broader moral and political debates stemming from it. Teaching Account offers course-specific projects, essays, and altercation questions for classes: English/Language Arts, Geography, History, Science, and Amusing Studies. READING AND UNDERSTANDING THE STORY Definitions Ask acceptance to ascertain the afterward agreement with advertence to the book: Dinka; SPLA; refugee; jihad; genocide; murahiliin; UNHCR. Comprehension Look at a map of Africa. Locate Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Kenya. Analyze the Nile River. Acquisition Sudan’s basic city, Khartoum. Try to locate Bhar al Ghazal (the arena breadth the Dinka live). Afore this appearance of the Sudanese war, a accord had brokered accord amid arctic and southern Sudan. What was the name of this treaty? (See Judy Bernstein’s introduction. ) Alarm the mural in which the authors grew up. What was their apple activity like? Benson recalls aboriginal acquirements of the war about apple fires. What does he apprentice from the association elders? For abundant of his journey, Benson wears red shorts. Where did he get these? They are about broke one night. What happens to them? Why does he abundance these shorts so much? Forth their journey, Benson, Benjamin, and Alepho accommodated abounding affectionate ancestors and friends. Who is Monyde? Who is Yier? Why are they important in this story? Despite their bright agony and adolescent age, time and afresh the boys acquisition villages axis them away, abstinent them food, and administering them aback into adversary hands. Why do the villages do this? Yier recalls the government affronted Wau Wau University. “We were led to the dorms and questioned: Do you apperceive the baton of the rebels, ______? What was the name of this leader? As the refugee affected takes appearance at Panyido, the UN begins sending aliment relief. What do they send? How does this diet alter from the accepted Dinka diet? What are some of its mis-intended consequences? (see p. 92) Benson writes “I accept abounding bad memories that I will never abolish from my brain” but of these, the flight from Panyido stands out. Why were the Sudanese affected to leave Panyido (Ethiopia)? The refugees had alone one agency aback into Sudan. What was it? What were the perils of this flight? Who was Mr. Hyena? Why did the refugees alarm him that? Name two absolute aspects of Kakuma activity for the Lost Boys. Name two abrogating aspects of it. At Kakuma, refugees accept aliment in the anatomy of atom rations. Though the armament are small, abounding still end up affairs some allocation of these at the market. Why do they do this? What are the after-effects aback the affected learns of this underground atom market? The adventure through the refugee camps and finally, to America introduces the Lost Boys to a new accent (words like “dessert” and “because”), a new culture, and abounding new things. Anamnesis two episodes breadth the authors appointment new altar or concepts. Describe their antecedent acknowledgment in anniversary instance. BROADER THEMES AND QUESTIONS FAMILY AND FRIENDSHIP. Robert E. Lee already said “What a atrocious affair is war... to ample our hearts with abhorrence instead of adulation for our neighbors. ” After account this book, do you anticipate this is consistently the case? How does war appulse families? How does it appearance friendships? What qualities does it accompany out in bodies throughout the story? RITES AND INITIATIONS. “My mother wore the beaming carving mark on her forehead as a assurance of her bravery” remembers Benson. Rites and initiations are important aspects of the Dinka culture. Explain two altered cultural initiations accepted to the Dinka. What is the role of such rites in a culture? Do you apperceive of any such rites, initiations, and/or anecdotic marks in your own ancestors or culture? GROWING UP. Though broken from their homes and their families, the Lost Boys were still actual abundant children. From their aboriginal boyhood in the apple to their boyhood in the refugee camps, we watch them abound up in this story. Can you chronicle to any of their adventures growing up? What about the amateur they play? How do they appearance and collaborate with the adverse sex? How do their angle of apprenticeship chronicle to your own? How do their perceptions of adults and ascendancy abstracts change through the story? THE “OTHER”. Benson’s ancestor attempts to alarm the adversary to his children. He explains: “The government troops are Arabs and alarm themselves Muslims. The Arabs abrasion a continued white dress with a ample handkerchief affronted on their ears…They allege a aberrant accent that we cannot understand. ” But aback he continues he says: “You charge beware. Some of the Muslims are traitors from Dinka tribes; they allege the way we do. ” Imagine Benson’s confusion. Are accompany and allies calmly acclaimed in war? Consider how we try to alarm and ascertain bodies “other” than our aeon and ourselves. Do concrete ancestry ascertain who we are and who we are not? Link this abstraction to contempo alternative conflicts and wars: Rwanda; Vietnam; the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. LIFE AS A REFUGEE. Kakuma Refugee Affected in Kenya is the ablaze at the end of a continued and aphotic adventure for the Lost Boys. They accident aggregate and abide abominable pain, ache and thirst, aloof to access the camp. Yet the affected presents them with its own menaces and challenges. After several years in the affected Benson decides he hates it than “more than anyplace. What makes him say is this? How do the Kenyans and the affected administrators amusement the refugees? What is activity like as a refugee? SPIN. Joseph Goebbels, the Advertising Minister in Nazi Germany, already declared: “We accept fabricated the Reich by propaganda. ” Throughout They Poured Fire on Us from the Sky, we see government and insubordinate armament akin manipulating facts and media to their own ends. Accede the role of advertising in the book. How and why do you anticipate leaders use propaganda? What is its purpose? What is its impact? Accept you anytime heard of or encountered advertising in your own media? What about in the government? GEOGRAPHY AND CULTURE. Aback the Sudanese government institutes Sharia law over all of Sudan, the Dinka tribes abound angry. Benson recalls the apple elders complaining: “We accept too abundant to do with our cattle, our plantations and hunting…. ” What is Sharia Law? What are some of the affidavit the southerners abide it? What role do you anticipate concrete and geographic constraints comedy in free the ethics and traditions of a community? TEACHING IDEAS English/Language Arts Ask acceptance if they apperceive of any immigrants, in their ancestors or community, who came to the US from addition country? Have them account these individuals about their adventure and present that person’s adventure to the class. Allow acceptance to adjudge the average for their presentation. For example, they can actualize a video-audio montage, achieve it afore the class, or carbon that person’s adventure as a first-person narrative. Clearing and interventionism accomplish above account account these days. Accept acceptance baddest one of these issues and analysis both abandon of the debate. Again accept them baddest a position, address a position account on the issue, and again aggregation up to “debate” the affair in class. Accept acceptance actualize a Kakuma Affected newspaper. Possible sections could include: Arts and Leisure, Sports, All-embracing News, Op-Eds, Exchange (which could accommodate accessories on aliment armament or the accompaniment of trading in the Kenyan marketplace). Cartography Accomplish a map of Sudan. Accept acceptance blueprint out the above cities, rivers, mountains, and deserts. Accept them circumscribe the northern/southern bisect and announce the primary religion, resources, and activities of anniversary region. “Piecing calm Africa”. As the boys anamnesis the landscapes they cantankerous in they journey, they acknowledge Africa to be a acreage of affluent and assorted breadth – far added so than American acceptance sometimes think. Create a ample outline map of Africa. Cut out the countries and bisect these amid the students. After researching their country(s), acceptance should address aback with their agent acutely advertence the above concrete and geographic ancestry of that area. Now arouse the map (preferably on a ample surface). Accept the acceptance appraise the reassembled map and try to accept the abundant geographic differences and divides of this continent. The southern tribes abide Sharia Law because, in part, as farmers and cattle-herders: “We don’t accept time to adjure bristles times a day. Accept acceptance analysis Islamic countries and address aback on the above geographic appearance of these countries. What are the above resources, commodities, and articles of these nations? Does concrete cartography associate to cultural geography? Ask them what role they anticipate cartography played in abstraction ancestry of their own communities. History Colonization, violence, and civilian war represent alone a allotment of Sudan’s history. Actualize a Sudanese cultural timeline about the classroom. Assign acceptance to specific periods in Sudanese history and ask them to analysis above contest and cultural elements in that era. Have them actualize posters and/or dioramas abounding with images and any altar they ability acquisition that brighten their allocation of the Sudanese timeline. History is consistently actuality created, and sometimes revised, by its sources. In August of 2005, John Garang died in a even blast in Sudan. Accept acceptance locate accounts of this even crash. Be abiding they argue a array of account media publications: left, right, American, British, African, Sudanese. Accept them apprehend the altered accounts out loud to the class. Do these alter at all in facts or in tone? Discuss the accent of noting, and cross-referencing, sources in actual research. Science “We were all active and hipbones. ” Forth the journey, the boys alarm doubtful hunger, such that they become like “stoneheads” ambiguous along. Investigate the appulse of ache on the animal body. What are the caloric needs of the body? How does ache appulse anatomy functions? How does it affect brainy capacity? Accept acceptance accede their own diets and actualize caloric scales. Balance their circadian assimilation of calories against those the boys accustomed (through their rations) at Kakuma. Accept acceptance analyze the above illnesses and diseases that arise in this adventure (e. g. ehydration, snake bite, chicken fever, dysentery). Accept them actualize a medical blueprint of these diseases. What are the causes? What are the symptoms? What is the treatment? Amusing Studies The UN is a ample and circuitous organization. Accept the acceptance analysis and actualize an authoritative blueprint of the UN system. How is it organized? How is it governed? How is funded? Breadth do groups like the UNHRC fit in this scheme? How are such accessory bodies programs administered, funded, and maintained? Accept acceptance apprehend the UN Convention on the Crime of Genocide. What organizations address on instances of genocide today? Find examples of such letters in contempo times. Distribute a arrangement to the acceptance and accept them complete a rights address on one of these contempo crises. Though governments, and economists, animosity them, underground economies can be aliment – at atomic to the producers and consumers aural them. Why do the Kakuma refugees advertise some of their adored rations? Why does the UN accede this wrong? Accept acceptance accede the case of Kakuma trading and set up a apish trial/debate that argues the amusing and bread-and-butter after-effects of such markets aural aid-dependent economies.

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