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Guantanamo prison will soon be closed

US President Barack Obama continues his campaign to shut down Guantanamo. Let's take a closer look at the situation of this famous prison.

Published on :


Guantanamo is a high security detention center located on a military base in Cuba. The detainees are people described as “illegal combatants” and have been captured by the US military during various counterterrorism operations carried out abroad.
« Le président Barack Obama a obtenu une rare victoire dans sa campagne vieille de cinq ans pour faire fermer la prison de Guantanamo, mais il y a encore loin de la coupe aux lèvres.»
Source: Cyberpress
The following activities will provide a better understanding of the Guantanamo prison and the issues surrounding its closure.


At the end of the activities, the student will be able to:
- Understand what the Guantanamo detention center is;
- Locate Guantanamo on a geographic map;
- Identify the protesters of Guantanamo;
- Understand the reasons for which some dispute the existence of Guantanamo;
- Analyze the situation in the US Congress concerning the closure of this prison;
- Find information about Omar Kahdr.

Suggested Activities

ACTIVITY 1: What is Guantanamo

First, say the word “Guantanamo” and ask the students what it means.
Here are some questions to ask them:
- Where is the Guantanamo prison located? (Then locate the place on a map)
- What state does this detention center belong to?
- What type of detainees do we find in this prison?
- Since when are there prisoners on this military base?
- Who are the protesters of Guantanamo?
To find out who the protesters at Guantanamo Bay are, invite students to complete the following dictation. You can also ask them to guess the words that are hidden before having them write correctly.

Click on the image to enlarge.
Download the source file in ActivInspire (.flp) format
Download the file in PDF format (.pdf)

ACTIVITY 2: Why close Guantanamo?

Now invite the students to find out why some people want the Guantanamo prison to be closed.
To do so, they should read the information on the following Amnesty International page in order to identify the main reasons for the protests:
Guantánamo: a decade of human rights abuses
Amnesty International website page
Finally, ask the students to summarize in a text why Amnesty International wants the closure of Guantanamo.

ACTIVITY 3: Obama's fight

Now analyze the situation in the United States Congress. To do this, invite students to read the following articles:
Article 1
Obama takes a step towards closing Guantanamo
Released on Radio-Canada, May 24, 2014.
Article 2
Obstacles to the closure of Guantánamo maintained
Published on Cyberpresse, May 22, 2014.
Si vous disposez d’un tableau blanc interactif, affichez les articles à l’écran et utilisez l’outil permettant l’annotation afin de surligner et d’annoter les articles comme sur l’exemple ci-dessous :

Click on the image to enlarge.

 For further
Ask students if they can name the name of the Canadian citizen who was imprisoned at Guantanamo for over 8 years. Tell them it's Omar Khadr. Does that name mean anything to them? Invite students to find information on the web about this prisoner who was once a child soldier.

More about the magazine

Guantanamo Camp
Wikipedia article
Demonstration in front of the White House to close Guantanamo
Journal de Québec, May 23, 2014
Closure of Guantanamo: Obama wins a small victory
La Presse, May 23, 2014
Omar Kahdr
Wikipedia article

About the Author

Véronique Lavergne
Véronique Lavergne
Véronique is a librarian at the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivières and a trainer in educational technology for future teachers. She also holds a teaching certificate in the social universe at the secondary level and collaborates regularly with the organization L'École branchée.

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