President Barack Obama and Marcus Rashford on their love of reading and realising your full potential

In May 2021, former President and author of A Promised Land, Barack Obama, and football icon Marcus Rashford sat down with June Sarpong to discuss how young people can realise their full potential, including how to have a positive impact and make a change in the world. They also discussed books and their shared love of reading.

You can find the clips and teaching resources for the event below.

Resources

Age: Key Stages 3 – 5

Subject: PSHE

Topic: Reaching your full potential

The activities give KS3-5 students the opportunity to identify and discuss the importance of reading, as well as how they can have a positive impact and create change in their lives. The following can be used as standalone activities, or used together with the starter and plenary to form a complete lesson (approx. 1 hour 30 mins in total).

Learning Objectives:

1.    How does reading help us realise our full potential?

2.    How can we have a positive impact on the world?

3.    How can we create change?

Activity one

Barack Obama and Marcus Rashford discuss books and their love of reading.

Activity two

Barack Obama and Marcus Rashford discuss finding your passion and having a positive impact on the world.

Activity three

Barack Obama and Marcus Rashford discuss how young people can create change.

The full event

  • A Promised Land

  • THE #1 SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Times / Guardian / Telegraph / i News / The New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Marie Claire

    A riveting, deeply personal account of history in the making-from the president who inspired us to believe in the power of democracy

    'Gorgeously written, humorous, compelling, life affirming' Justin Webb, Mail on Sunday

    In the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency-a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

    Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation's highest office.

    Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune's Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

    A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective-the story of one man's bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of "hope and change," and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

    This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama's conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.

    'What is unexpected in A Promised Land is the former president's candour' David Olusoga, Observer

  • Buy the book
  • Of Thee I Sing

  • An inspirational picture book for young readers from former President of the United States, Barack Obama.

    In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, former President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to the ideals that have shaped his nation and thirteen groundbreaking Americans, including:

    The artistry of Georgia O'Keefe
    The courage of Jackie Robinson
    The patriotism of George Washington

    Barack Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children and within all children.

    Evocative illustrations by the award-winning artist Loren Long at once capture the personalities and achievements of these great Americans, and the innocence and promise of childhood.

    This book celebrates the potential within all of us to pursue our dreams and forge our own paths.

  • Buy the book

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