Foods embody cultures. And food-themed books are a great way to sample and savor cultures. Here are seven wonderful picks from around the world that we’ve enjoyed in our family.
Kyol Blakeney's insight:
This site offers a collection of books that are about food and food practices in other cultures. As we are aware, food is one of the main things that separate cultures. Food has become such an important factor in what a culture is. For example, here in Australia we have Vegemite, pavlova, lamingtons, pies, sausage rolls, ANZAC biscuits and more that distinctly define the Australian culture. This site offers a range of books that teachers can use to educate students on the importance of food in other cultures.
In the HSIE K-6 syllabus, there is a distinct reference in CUS1.4 which states "identifies and demonstrates similarities between ways in which people express their culture, eg celebrations usually involve music and food".
Song for children about friendship and cultural diversity | Tell Me Your Story
Kyol Blakeney's insight:
This song and clip is great because it asks questions that will provoke in depth discussion about the kind of topics that would be preferably covered in the Customs and Practices point of the HSIE K-6 syllabus CUS1.3 and CUS1.4. By singing along and learning to interact with each other by asking the questions which the song presents, they are able to learn more about each other in the class and also understand that everyone is different. Students can also develop the knowledge that sometimes people from different families and cultures have different celebrations, events, and practices than themselves.
The teacher can ask the students what kinds of questions the two people in the clip were asking each other and then students can put those questions to a group or partner in their class. In this way, students will learn more about each other. For discussion, each student can share with the class something that they learnt from another peer or the teacher can set a worksheet which the students may answer the questions in the song individually or in pairs or groups (depending on the teacher).
On the link I have shared, you can find the clip, the lyrics, and the score to the song.
A unique picture book collaboration about having fun, sharing culture and the power of story and dance. A picture book to get the whole town dancing.
Kyol Blakeney's insight:
'Shake a Leg', a book by Boori Pryor and Jan Ormerod, is an example both contemporary and traditional Aboriginal perspectives. To elaborate; the Murri man in the pizzeria learnt and spoke Italian. This is an example of people from different races exploring different cultures. He then also brings to attention the dreamtime story of a boy who didn't listen to his elders in the form of a traditional dance. In Aboriginal dances, there is a move known as the Shake-a-Leg. It is performed in this traditional dance. Stories are told and acted out in the form of dance during traditional celebrations. In HSIE the CUS1.4 part of the syllabus has direct connection to this activity. It relates to students' customs, practices and celebrations within their own cultures. I believe this book would be appropriate for a Stage 1 class followed by an activity of dancing and passing of knowledge of other cultures that follow through with similar practices. On this site you can order the book but there is also a 10 page extract in the form of a PDF that you can look at to see if it is the one for you and your class.
Have you ever wondered how other people from around the world celebrate birthdays? Take a look many of the fascinating birthday traditions from around the world.
Kyol Blakeney's insight:
In a classroom that can be very diverse and multicultural it is important for a teacher to have a background knowledge (even if it is slightly rough) on the way that children from around the world celebrate what would be a very special day at their age. I am referring to their birthdays. When a student has a birthday, particularly on a school day, they must feel very special for the day. The good thing about birthdays is that they can be celebrated so diversely depending on the family culture or nationality. This is an opportunity to introduce children to the idea that not everybody does the same things for their birthdays.
An activity can be to have a student talk about or share what they plan for their birthday, what they may have been given, or what they did that was special. From here we can begin to discuss activities that other students in the class might do or want to do for their birthdays. If there is any diversity in the class, the teacher can start with incorporating their cultures traditional ways of celebrating birthdays. Obviously, this site is very brief however, it gives the teacher some of the basics to start up a discussion with the class or get parents of the students involved to assist in the learning development.
This lesson and lessons that could follow identify with CUS1.3 of the HSIE K-6 syllabus (Identifies customs, practices, symbols, languages and traditions of their family and other families).
I think this site is great for students in Stage 1. It is an interactive map that allows a person to click on any part of the world they like and see examples of dances and celebrations around the world. An interesting thought is also that students can examine and discuss the similarities and differences of dances demonstrated in the clips. I say this because one observation I made is that most of the dances in the close regions available on this map are similar while the dances that are very far away from each other are very different. This can also be used as a link to topics around migration and cultures moving throughout the world. For example, the dances in the European region of this map are very different to the traditional dances in the South Pacific and Australasian regions, yet we see these dances sometimes practiced today here is Australia during times of celebration.
It might also be worth having a look for particular aspects that your students can relate to. If there are any students that come from a particular region of the world, it might be an opportunity to get them more involved in expressing their cultural identities in the classroom for certain activities and also getting parents involved for special occasions that their families celebrate. This way the class, and possibly the whole school, could have the opportunity to experience cultural diversity and understanding through celebrating events that other cultures have or experiencing dances and songs that they would otherwise not know about. This site also gives students the opportunity to begin exploring the meanings and stories behind some of the more traditional dances and discover why they are performed and what each step means through a follow up lesson.
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