'A Land of Many Nations' - Family Origins (Early Stage 1)
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Making Meaningful Connections with Kids through Sports - World Cup for Kids

Making Meaningful Connections with Kids through Sports - World Cup for Kids | 'A Land of Many Nations' - Family Origins (Early Stage 1) | Scoop.it
We are excited for the World Cup coming up in June! Sports events like this are a great way to connect more with family and friends, share camaraderie (or even friendly competition), and create opportunities to learn about different countries … Continue reading →
James Graham's insight:

One way of teaching family heritage and country is taking advantage of big global events such as the Olympics, or the FIFA World Cup. The latter is being held again in 2014! The concept on this blog – that meaningful connections with kids can be made through sport – can be adapted for use in a classroom setting where students are learning about family origins and heritage.

Only 36 nations participate in the World Cup finals, so not every child’s family country of origin will be represented, yet teachers can still encourage students to learn about and describe their heritage in light of a global event like the World Cup. Students in Early Stage 1 can participate in activities such as making or painting country flags (helpful resource for flags is: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/flags/flags.htm), or even painting a flag onto a plain white t-shirt. Flags are a great way of making visual connections with the concept of country and national identity. 

Framing concepts in terms of fun themes is a great way of making ideas and learning more tangible and concrete. A class ‘world cup day’ could be held, where students are asked to bring in an item synonymous with their parents’ or grandparents’ country of origin, and show these items to the class using simple describing language: “my parents [or grandparents] came from… and in that country…”

Using a stimulus like the World Cup helps children locate their family heritage and nationality in place and time. Johnson explains the notion of cognitive place-making (understanding place to be a true location, not just an abstract space) as being a response to common curiosities that children have, such as ‘what is it like?’, and ‘why should it matter?’ (Johnson, 2012, p. 831). The World Cup, an exciting, global event, offers a unique opportunity to harness this natural fascination, and educate students as to the diverse places and cultures associated with their classmates and their families.

 

Johnson, J.T. (2012). Place-based learning and knowing: critical pedagogies grounded in indigeneity. GeoJournal 77, 829-836.

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Family Tree Kids! - Making Family History Fun

Family Tree Kids! - Making Family History Fun | 'A Land of Many Nations' - Family Origins (Early Stage 1) | Scoop.it
James Graham's insight:

Developing a wider concept of family, beyond the notion of a child’s immediate family members (parents and siblings), is vitally important in helping them come to terms with their family origins, and the significant people, places and events in their family history. Portraying family through a family tree is a great way to help kids visualise their wider family, and talk about their family history. It will also encourage them to begin using language associated with time and change relating to their family, such as 'before', 'after', 'then', and 'now'.

Wrapping their heads around what a family tree is may be difficult at first for kids, especially those in Early Stage 1 (for some kids’ first ideas at the mention of ‘family tree’, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYJcYLEN2tg). A fun activity that visually explains the idea of a family tree using picture magnets can be found at the Family Tree Magazine website. It would be suitable for in class or  at home, and necessitates parental involvement in locating photographs of family members. Photos may include those of family members who lived abroad, and can be used to demonstrate to children that family can be global, and changes over time. Since magnets are transportable, they can build a family tree at home on the fridge, learning about significant events and people in their family history, and bring their family tree in to school to show their classmates, and recount their story, by way of assessing their understanding of heritage. Students learn to think "critically and creatively, and to collaborate and communicate effectively in groups", and when presenting information to each other (Mardell, Rivard, & Krechevsky, 2012, p. 12) Peer learning activities are a great incentive to learn, particularly with children in Early Stage 1 and Stage 1, who leap at the chance to share things about themselves and their family with classmates. There may even be a further opportunity to invite grandparents and other relatives to visit the class, making the people and events in family tree photos even more real and exciting!

 

 

Mardell, B., Rivard, M., & Krechevsky, M. (2012). Visible learning, visible learners: The power of the group in a kindergarten classroom. YC Young Children, 67(1), 12-16,19

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Google Earth

Google Earth | 'A Land of Many Nations' - Family Origins (Early Stage 1) | Scoop.it

Google Earth - interactive globe

James Graham's insight:

 

Many children will have grandparents or parents who were born overseas, or will have been born overseas themselves. Understanding one's own family origins and those of other children means developing an understanding of the 'bigness' of the world, and how far people have come to be in Australia. Google Earth is an interactive globe, which can be used as a teaching tool to demonstrate this concept.

Further, it is readily accessible to kids, particularly on a touch or tablet device, where they can freely explore and begin to visualise the world, discover the places their living relatives or ancestors came from. Engaging with the globe in a tangible way like this, children will begin to develop the skill of describing the world, and an understanding of its vastness and multitudinous cultures.

Students could be encouraged to begin thinking about their family origins using Google Earth in either a classroom setting, or at home with parents, by being guided through the map and shown the country (or countries) of their family origin. While it may be difficult for students in Early Stage 1 to fathom how enormous the world is, this is a tool that would overcome those barriers in an interactive and interesting way. It would also lay the foundations for building a global perspective. The simple skill of being able to point to a spot on the globe and locate Australia, along with a country of family origin, would be achievable.

That there can be both continuity and change in the world is a big concept. However, interactive globes demonstrate that there are some frameworks that remain constant, even while others change.

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Who are the families of the world | Global Education

Who are the families of the world | Global Education | 'A Land of Many Nations' - Family Origins (Early Stage 1) | Scoop.it
James Graham's insight:

In nurturing students’ growth at global citizens, learning about families around the world is just as important as learning about one’s own family origins. The Global Education website offers a number of ideas for activities that promote the understanding that family practices, cultures and origins are diverse. The above webpage contains activities that provide opportunities for comparisons of objects, events, people, places and ways of doing things in the past and present, as per the change and continuity strand in HSIE Early Stage 1.

Activity 1, ‘We Are Family’, allows students to view a range of images of different kinds of families, and verbally express what family means in the context of these images, and further, the similarities and differences to their own families. They will be able to discuss what family is, the people who comprise a family, and where families live and where they have come from. This activity can be used in tandem with interactive globes and maps such as Google Earth (using a projector or ‘smart board’ where available).

CCES1 describes students being able to retell stories that demonstrate their own heritage and the heritage of others. This could be assessed through asking them to verbally express the similarities and differences of a family in one of the images on the Global Education site, compared to their own family.

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Family - Australian Museum

Family - Australian Museum | 'A Land of Many Nations' - Family Origins (Early Stage 1) | Scoop.it
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have a complex system of family relations, where each person knows their kin and their land.
James Graham's insight:

The Australian Museum provides a number of online resources useful for teachers. Their Indigenous-specific webpages contain great information to help teachers as they introduce students in Early Stage 1 to Aboriginal perspectives, in particular family origins. The webpage articulates that one of the ways Aboriginal communities share family history with their children is through storytelling. This is helpful for teachers, who may be able to use this as a literary strategy, since storytelling can be used to work towards learning outcomes in English Early Stage 1 (ENe-2A “composes simple texts to convey an idea or message”), while also providing an Aboriginal perspective on the notion of family origins, and change and continuity.

A learning activity utilising the information on this page could involve reading an Aboriginal dreamtime text to the class (such as Dick Roughsey’s The Rainbow Serpent [hardcopy book], or a simple language online version, such as can be found at http://www.expedition360.com/australia_lessons_literacy/2001/09/dreamtime_stories_the_rainbow.html). This kind of activity educates children as to the storied origins of Aboriginal peoples and families, and the idea that one way of telling their family history is through spoken story and art. Story telling not only teaches children the skill of active listening, but “demands a response”: reading indigenous Australian dreamtime stories will naturally promote further interest in understanding Aboriginal family origins (van Staden & Watson, 2007, p. 3). Student's understanding of this idea could be assessed by asking each of them to draw a picture story that explains their own family history, perhaps incorporating elements of Aboriginal art techniques.

 

 

Van Staden, C.J.S., & Watson, R. (2007). When old is new: Exploring the potential of using Indigenous stories to construct learning in early childhood settings. Paper presented at the AARE conference, Fremantle, 26-29 November.

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