Environments Stage 2: Local and other Australian Communities
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Google Maps

Google Maps | Environments Stage 2: Local and other Australian Communities | Scoop.it

Google Maps is a great site to use to allow students to explore their local community from the classroom through technology. Not only does the site allow for students to move around and explore the local built and natural environment, but also develop students’ “spatial and statistical literacy” skills (Beeson, 2009, p. 14). The site provides a detailed map of any address or location and its surroundings, including the names of shops, buildings and parks. Students can also swap between looking at the area as a map and through three dimensional satellite images. Using a local map is highly useful in the classroom to engage students in an understanding of their local community and their role in it, as supported by Mitchell and Elwood (2012, p. 148) who argue, “the integration of local history and geography through collaborative digital mapping can lead to greater interest in civic participation by early adolescent learners”.

 

Teaching idea:

To achieve optimum learning during this lesson, try to arrange a computer for each student to work on individually. Using the IWB, guide students through Google Maps by typing in the name of the school, and zooming in on the immediate area around the school. Ask students to identify where they believe the local community boundaries exist, and if it is an urban or rural community. Ask students to list some of the things in their community, such as types of shops, parks, schools, and places where the community meet. Ask students to talk to the person next to them about some of their favourite things to do in their community. Students then create a class poster together called “Our community” which collates their information. Such a lesson enables students to begin exploring their own local community, what exists there and how they interact with it.

 

Assessment:

Assess students through observing discussions with teacher and between students. Students could also be asked to write or draw what they think a community is, which could then be displayed with the “Our Community” poster.

 

Literacy/numeracy link:

As students locate, navigate and describe areas on a map using Google Maps they meet the Stage 2 numeracy substrand outcome ‘Position’ in Space and Geometry. 

 

Reference:

Beeson, Pat. Investigating Journeys to School Using a Range of Technologies. Interaction, Vol. 37, No. 1, Mar 2009: 14-20. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy1.library.usyd.edu.au/documentSummary;dn=797112230983166;res=IELHSS

 

Katharyne Mitchell & Sarah Elwood (2012): Engaging Students through Mapping Local History, Journal of Geography, 111:4, 148-157

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The Naked Boy and the Crocodile - Indigenous Literacy Foundation

The Naked Boy and the Crocodile - Indigenous Literacy Foundation | Environments Stage 2: Local and other Australian Communities | Scoop.it
Kids stories published Indigenous Literacy Foundation | Can You Imagine a World Without Reading | DONATE TODAY

 

"Naked Boy & The Crocodile" edited by Andy Griffiths is a compilation of stories collected from children aged 5-10 living in remote indigenous communities around Australia. Through an evaluation of "Naked Boy & The Crocodile", it is evident that it is a suitable text to use in the classroom to explore an Indigenous perspective. The book was written in cooperation with the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, and each of the child authors are Indigenous Australians. The material is up to date, and does not present any over-generalisations or perpetuate the concept of terra nullius. The stories within the book are of a balanced nature, depicting children from many different Aboriginal communities.

The website itself provides information and a background of the book, its authors and the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. A multimedia video of one student reading their story from the book is also embedded in the page, thus allowing the text to engage students on a multimedia level also. Jones and Cuthrell (2011, p. 83) support the use of technology as a literacy tool, suggesting that “YouTube is an innovative technology tool that teachers can commit to using in their classrooms as they engage 21st century learners”. This resource allows students to gain an insight into various Indigenous communities around Australia from the perspective of children their age, as the book conveys “a microcosm of the culture that is its context” (Winch 2010, p. 478).

 

Teaching idea:

Visit the Indigenous Literacy Foundation website with the class, and using an Interactive White Board read about the background of the book and why it was written. Choose several stories that capture strong elements of community to read to the class, as well as watch the video of Calli Rose Woods reading ‘My Turkey’ on the website. Divide students into groups of 3 and allocate each group a story. Ask students to write down some information about the community in their story, such as who lived in the community, where was the community located, what are some of the activities they did in that community, etc. Students write their own short story about their favourite thing to do in their community. Remind students to include information such as who was involved, where was it set and how did it make them feel.

 

Assessment:

At the end of the lesson pose the question to students “Why do you think many of the children in the stories we read were able to do things we can’t do in our community?”. Assess students through a discussion regarding this question, while exploring the idea of community location.

 

Literacy/numeracy link:

Students address numerous Stage 2 writing outcomes through the task of writing their own short story. Furthermore, students engage with a literary text both written and visual, and thus explore the use of multimodal texts.

 

Reference:

Troy Jones & Kristen Cuthrell (2011): YouTube: Educational Potentials and Pitfalls, Computers in the Schools, 28:1, 75-85 http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/07380569.2011.553149

 

Winch, G., Johnston, R.S., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., Holliday, M. (2010). Literacy: reading, writing & children’s literature (4th ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.

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Chinatown Sydney

Chinatown Sydney | Environments Stage 2: Local and other Australian Communities | Scoop.it

The Sydney Chinatown website offers students a range of information to navigate through regarding one of Sydney’s most oldest and biggest Chinese communities. Lists of facilities and services are available on the website, as well as the history of Chinatown, photographs and a map. The use of such a resource allows students to gain a global perspective of another Australian community, through an understanding of the history of the community and the cultural significance. Students can learn about “different ways of seeing, thinking and doing” as well as be “challenged by ideas of behaviours that are outside” their own community (Commonwealth of Australia, 2012). The website is fairly easy to navigate through, with clearly marked pages. However it would be valuable to guide students through the website before asking them to work individually with it.

 

Teaching idea:

Pull up the Chinatown History page from the website on an Interactive Whiteboard in front of the class. Read the last two paragraphs of the article and with the class create a mind map of the features of Chinatown, such as what types of shops and what types of buildings and traditional structures it has. Divide students into groups of 3-4 to discuss the use of each of these features and why they are specific to the Chinatown community. Leave the webpage open on the IWB to allow students to access it whilst discussing with their group. Bring students back together and discuss what each group thought. Encourage students through discussion to see that the features of a community reflect the community’s “ideas, culture, needs and wants” (BOS NSW, 2006, p. 31).

 

Assessment:

Assess student understanding of the importance of having a diverse range of communities in Australia by giving students the question “Why is it important to have places like Chinatown?” to answer in their workbooks.

 

Literacy/numeracy link:

In writing an answer to the assessment question students meet Stage 2 writing outcomes. Furthermore students meet listening and speaking Stage 2 outcomes through group work and class discussion.

 

Reference:

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society & Its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Board of Studies NSW: Sydney.

 

Australian Government AUSAID. (2012). Global Ed- ucation. Teacher resources to encourage a global per- spective across the curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/teaching-and-learning/teaching-strategies.html#Diversity

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Kaleigh & Lauren:)'s curator insight, October 1, 2013 11:53 AM

This article fits under the area of geography, being human interaction. It shows the diffusion from China and San Francisco to Australia.  I think this is really cool because we have a Chinatown in SF, California inspired by obviously China.Then now Sydney Australia has one too and I didn't know that.  

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Clean Up Australia

Clean Up Australia | Environments Stage 2: Local and other Australian Communities | Scoop.it

The Clean Up Day website allows students to not only learn about Clean Up Australia Day and its purpose and history, but also other Clean Up days such as Schools Clean Up Day. The website provides information about the history of the campaign, a report of the latest Clean Up Australia Day and how to register. This is an important resource to use with Stage 2 when exploring the idea of community as it allows students to begin to understand the importance of caring for their community and its members. Jans (2004, cited in Waters, 2012, p. 3) suggests that understanding and co-operating in activities such as Clean Up Australia Day are highly important for students as they “highlight a connection to one’s community that is an essential component of overall civic engagement”.

 

Teaching idea:

A teaching idea for this resource is to browse the website with students first on an Interactive White Board (IWB), focusing on the page ‘About the Campaign’ in Clean Up Australia Day. Ask students to work in pairs at a computer and explore the site to find out the following information: What is the campaign? Why does it exist? How do they achieve their goal? Bring students back together and discuss the importance of caring for their local community and why it is done as a team. Extend students towards thinking further about their local community by asking them to suggest other ways of caring for our community.

 

Assessment:

To assess student understanding of how and why to care for the local community ask students to work in groups of 4 to write a letter to their local council regarding an issue they believe needs fixing in the community. Assign certain jobs to each student to ensure all students are engaged.

 

Literacy/numeracy link:

Students strongly address Stage 2 writing outcomes during the assessment, as they must use a range of writing skills such as drafting, revision and proof reading the letter. Reading outcomes are also met as students navigate the website to acquire specific information.

 

Reference:

Waters, T. J. (2012). Beyond Neighborhood Play:

Factors That Promote Child Civic Engagement. ProQuest LLC: Parkway.

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Coonamble Shire Council - Coonamble

Coonamble Shire Council - Coonamble | Environments Stage 2: Local and other Australian Communities | Scoop.it

The great thing about using an online source such as the Coonamble Shire Council website is that such websites exist for many communities, and this is just one that represents a rural New South Wales community. The website provides information about the town and history, the community itself, and a range of information about the services provided there. This type of resource can be used with students to gain an insight into a community in another area of Australia that may be very different to their own, without having to travel there. Furthermore, in allowing students to use an interactive tool such as a website to research themselves, students can be greater engaged as they have “greater control” over their learning (Beauchamp, 2011, p. 186).

 

Teaching idea:

A suitable lesson to accompany this resource is a comparative study of the students’ own local community and a rural Australian community; in this case Coonamble. Guide students to the Coonamble Community Directory page and the Coonamble location map on the website, using the website on the Interactive White Board as a model, as students follow at their own computers either individually or in pairs. Using the list of services available in your community (see local community activity) and the town website, students use a matrix to record some of the services available in the local community and those available in Coonamble under the headings shops, activities, transport and education. Students then discuss their results and reasons as to why they differ in some areas. Link this discussion to population and size, location, and community needs.

 

Assessment:

Assess student understanding of the reasons behind differing needs between communities through observation of student discussion. If further consolidation is required, ask students to choose a topic from the matrix headings and write 2-3 sentences on the differences of facilities within that heading between Coonamble and the local community and why they believe there are differences. For example, “In our community there are 2 high schools but in Coonamble there is only 1. This is because there are more children in our community”.

 

Literacy/numeracy link:

Students address a range of Stage 2 writing outcomes within the use of the matrix and in writing 2-3 sentences in their assessment. Students also meet Stage 2 reading outcomes as they decipher and use information from the town directory.

 

Reference:

Beauchamp, G. (2011). Interactivity and ICT in the primary school: categories of learner interactions with and without ICT. Technology, Pedagogy and Education, 20:2, 175-190

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