Cultural Characteristics of Families for Stage 1
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The Case for Cultivating Cultural Awareness

The Case for Cultivating Cultural Awareness | Cultural Characteristics of Families for Stage 1 | Scoop.it

 

This is a great resource for teachers as it gives an in depth incite into the importance of teaching cultural awareness in a primary classroom. This article places a positive emphasis on the impact that technology has had on children of today and how it can be advantageous in expanding their knowledge of the world around them. The writer uses her own experiences to detail how narrow-minded people can be should they not be exposed to a variety of cultures from an early age. This in turn can stifle an individual’s belief, which as a result fail to see the great issues that surround them. She states ‘Our students will struggle to serve as innovative contributors to our present and future societies unless they develop an understanding of, and appreciation for, our global partners.’ Connectivity is no longer an issue through social media and Skype, which all work in bringing people together all around the world. Utilizing technology can have a profusely greater effect on students as they can connect with students from other countries and become active members of the global community.

 

As an educator it is important to acknowledge the difficulties that were once faced when developing cultural awareness within schools. Students learning can be enhanced through ‘carrying out personal activity in collaboration with other people by using the tools, languages and social perspectives of the group’. (McInerney & McInerney, 2010) After having read this resource, as a pre service teacher I feel this can really enhance teaching practices. The examples throughout this article can be great tools in the classroom.

 

For a Stage one classroom, having students connect with a Pen Pal from a school in another country can help expand on the cross cultural understanding of both students participating. Students will be able to gain a broader understanding of their family life, school life, their customs and tradition, all through the interaction via social media and technology. This Pen Pal strategy that connects students all across the world can span over the course of the year.

 

As an assessment task, the teacher can link this learning about cultural awareness to an English literacy lesson. Focusing on the outcome EN1-2A plans composes and reviews a small range of simple texts for a variety of purposes on familiar topics for known readers and viewers, students can compose a written text in the form of a letter to their pen pal. Students will write a short written piece using a letter template about their own culture, outlining the things they enjoy doing with their family and the customs and traditions that are also associated with their family.

 

These letters can then be sent by post or scanned into an email and sent the student they are writing the letter too, in the corresponding country.

 

References:

Board of Studies, NSW (2012) NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum. English K-6, Stage 1. Retrieved from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english-k10/content/871/

 

McInerney, D.M. McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning. Fifth Edition. NSW: Pearson Australia.

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World Vision Australia

World Vision Australia | Cultural Characteristics of Families for Stage 1 | Scoop.it

This YouTube clip follows the day in the life of a young girl who lives in Uganda with nine of siblings and her mother. Lucy spends her day helping out her ‘family by collecting water and firewood, helping to cook the family meal and feed the younger children’. This short clip introduces us to her family and allows the audience to develop a greater sense of cross-cultural understanding. The importance of sharing and family are the key theme explored in this clip. By watching this video students are able to develop a greater sense of cultural awareness as the cultural characteristics of their families differ from western culture. This allows students understanding to heighten as they are exposed to a new culture in an unfamiliar way of living. Although this may appear to be a different for a Stage 1 classroom, ensure they understand that like us people in Uganda need food and water, and even toys and friends to play with. This will help them bridge the gap between the two differing cultures.

 

This YouTube clip would work best as part of a set of sequenced lesson. This is for Stage one, however it would be better suited to a Year two class, as they would have had more exposure to the idea of poverty and third world countries. As some students might find the clip overwhelming, ensure you discuss what you will be watching with your class and explain to students that these are their living conditions and practices that they are used to.

 

Following watching the clip conduct a class discussion and have students compare and contrast their daily lifestyle with Lucy’s. Similarly to Lucy, have students brainstorm how they help their families at home, the toys they play with and the food that they eat etc. Linking back to literacy, have students complete a worksheet that requires them to write about their differences, Lucy’s differences and the similarities between them.

 

The hand out can be accessed via the World Vision website http://www.worldvision.com.au/Libraries/School_Resources/Handout_-_My_life_and_Lucy_s.pdf  This activity can be used to help enforce the importance of unity, and that no matter where you are from we all need necessities such as food and water, family and friends in our lives.

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Picture Book: Whoever You Are

Picture Book: Whoever You Are | Cultural Characteristics of Families for Stage 1 | Scoop.it

Whoever You Are written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Leslie Staub, is a picture book that takes the reader on a journey of discovery as they are introduced to variety of countries and nationalities through the use of descriptive images and text. As the audience turns each page, they are transported across the globe and introduced to a different culture and their customs.

 

This story is a celebration of the similarities and differences that are shared amongst kids and adults all around the world and the uniting bond that is created, bringing us all together. Different languages and varying appearances are used throughout the text that help the audience acknowledge these unifying differences, however still managing to recognize the emotive similarities that we all share.

 

When using this picture book as a stimulus in a Stage one classroom it is important to reinforce that regardless of the difference separates people physically, we are all capable of feeling the same on the inside. The importance of family and connectedness to where you are from is also explored throughout this text. Using this picture book in a classroom setting can have a very positive effect as students are given a first hand incite into the world around them through the peers in their class. Introducing students to these concepts while immersed in a culturally diverse environment can better develop there perceptions of themselves and “If we better understand who we are, we are better equipped to develop a deeper understanding of the world and our role within it.” (Gibson & Ewing, 2011, p. 4).

 

Prior to reading the story, have students identify their nationalities and reinforce this cultural awareness within the classroom. Stimulate a class discussion and have students recognize that we are all capable of feeling the same emotions regardless of which country we are from.  Aligning this activity with the English syllabus outcome EN1-11D responds to and composes a range of texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences, have each student write full sentences using some of the vocabulary mentioned earlier that makes them either happy/sad/cry/laugh,  and then have them share their responses with the class.

 

References:

Gibson, R. & Ewing, R, (2011) Transforming the curriculum through the arts. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Board of Studies, NSW (2012). NSW Syllabuses for the Australian Curriculum. English K-6, Stage 1. Retrieved from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/content/871/

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Welcome to Explore & More's Cultures for Kids

Welcome to Explore & More's Cultures for Kids | Cultural Characteristics of Families for Stage 1 | Scoop.it

This website gives students the opportunity to learn about different customs and traditions found around the world.  The audience is given the opportunity to see how children in other parts of the world live, eat, play and learn. The language used on this site isn’t to overly complex, however still introduces students to vocabulary and words they would not have known prior to using this website. Exposing students to the differing nationalities and cultures via these interactive games helps maintain engagement with learning. Like cultural characteristics, ways of learning are forever changing. Using this website as a way of teaching cultural diversity, can teach students to understand that ‘cultures are dynamic and not static’ (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011).

 

Navigating around the site isn’t difficult and gives students the opportunity to explore and discover new and interesting facts about different countries on their own. There are three selections to choose from when you enter the site, a link for kids then two other links for teachers and resources. For students they are able to select a country and find out fast facts, engage through an interactive map of that country, a memory game and learn the language. Each icon on the page has an interactive component, making the site an engaging and fun place to learn.

 

The memory games for each country in this resource help students reflect on what they have learnt from the website. Following use of this site, have a discussion with the class and have them reflect on their favorite country they discovered and one fact that reiterates this choice. Students will use both listening and speaking skills to verbally deliver information they have sourced from using the site as well as listen to what their peers have to say. As this website does only give a brief description for a limited amount of countries, assign students an assignment task that would involve students choosing a country of their choice and creating their own fun facts about the traditions and customs that are associated with that country. Students can then present their findings to the class. This exercise aligns well with the listening and speaking outcome for the stage one syllabus as students with understand how to extract and information and reproduce findings to their peers.

 

Reference:

Gilbert, R. Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia

 

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Dust Echoes

Dust Echoes | Cultural Characteristics of Families for Stage 1 | Scoop.it

Dust Echoes is a website created by the ABC that exposes students to a collection of twelve animated aboriginal dream time stories that have been collected from the Wugullar Community in Arnhem Land, in the Northern Territory, Australia. Each animation has a description of the original dream time story, what it means and where the story originated. They also have a variety of activities for students and a study guide for teachers that accompany it. Connectivity to the land is explored throughout each story, emphasizing the need to acknowledge ones culture and respect where they come from. The dream time stories on this website expose students to the importance of family and ones connection to their country and their land.

 

Throughout each animation there are strong themes of relationships to people and places, and the concept of identity. This interactive website gives students the opportunity to identify these themes as they explore the indigenous culture. Students can then relate their knowledge and understanding to the customs and traditions that they are present in these animations and develop a sense of empathy towards the characters depicted in each story. Although each story is from the Aboriginal dream time, the themes are relevant to students today. The emotion that is evoked in each student links back to the concept of identity and reinforces the importance of acceptance and belonging.

 

When teaching using this resource in a classroom, I would suggest focusing on one story at a time and conducting a discussion as a whole class. Extrapolating information from an animation without words can be difficult for Stage one students; with the use of the original story students can gain a more coherent understanding of the source. As a facilitator to their learning, it is ‘important in meeting the values which underpin social and environmental education’ (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011) This can be used over course of a unit of work and would work well integrated into a literacy lesson. After exploring this website for a couple of lessons, students should be able to extract the key concepts and themes within the Indigenous culture. Have students reflect on their own culture and compare and contrast to what they have experienced. This can result in students writing a short paragraph about their relationships and who they are as an individual.

 

Reference:

Gilbert, R. Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching Society and Environment. 4th Edition. South Melbourne: Cengage Learning Australia

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