|Scooped by Ilana Krigstein|
This pdf is an online version of “Birthdays Around the World”, a book by Marilyn Greco. It explains what a birthday is and describes different children’s birthday experiences from all over the world. The United States, Russia Mexico, Japan and The Phillippines feature in the book, with each countries customs and traditions being discussed. This is what makes it an excellent resource for global education.
This book resonates amongst children as it relates to a well-known and highly recognized celebration, birthdays. Students are able to relate to the familiarity of the celebration and are engaged by new facts and pictures. Winch (2010) states the “pleasure of the picture book and of children's literature in general is in the act of revisiting the familiar but discovering something new in the process” (p.601). This resource allows children to experience this pleasure of familiarity whilst learning new things in the process. Not only is this resource engaging and informative, it also improves children’s literacy skills. When teachers read aloud and discuss books with students, this encourages students to do more independent reading (Krashen, 2004). Hearing stories also has a direct impact on vocabulary development.
One way of using this resource in the classroom is to project it onto a whiteboard/smartboard for all students to see. Before reading the book, there can be a class discussion about birthdays, what they are and how we celebrate them. Students should have an understanding that different countries and cultures celebrate birthdays differently. Read the book aloud to the students, pausing to let students read different sentences and discuss the pictures. Once the book has been read through, have a discussion with class. What are the similarities and differences between their birthdays and those discussed in the book. Next, split the students into five groups, one for each country in the book. Provide each group with birthday information regarding their given country. Students are to write down the key customs and traditions used in their country. Once students have sufficient information regarding their country hold your own “Birthday” celebration incorporating the different customs and traditions. Small stalls can be set up for each country and have students bring in any items relating to their country’s celebration. This will allows students to work in teams, have a sense of responsibility and experience each country’s traditions.
Students reading levels may be assessed as the book is read, and their understanding of the content can be determined through the class discussion. Students understanding and comprehension may be further assessed during group work, expressed through the writing of key traditions.
By having students read sentences throughout the book and by having a class discussion, students are reaching the English outcome RS1.6- Draws on an increasing range of skills and strategies when reading and comprehending texts. Also, by being given information and working in groups to write down important points, students are addressing the outcome TS1.1- Communicates with an increasing range of people for a variety of purposes on both familiar and introduced topics in spontaneous and structured classroom activities.
A follow up teaching idea can be used to link the topic to numeracy. This can be achieved through graphing. As a class, tally which month each child has their birthday. This information can then be used to create a column graph, showing which month has the most birthdays. This can be used to address the outcome DS1.1- Gathers and organises data, displays data using column and picture graphs, and interprets the results
Winch, G., Johnston, R., March, P., Ljungdahl, L., & Holliday, M. (2010). Literacy : reading, writing and children's literature (4th ed.). South Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Krashen, S. (2004). The power of reading: Insights from the research. Retrieved from http://teachers.saschina.org/jnordmeyer/files/2011/06/The-Power-of-Reading.pdf