Why is it so important to acknowledge and discuss our similarities and differences within our class and family groups?
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IDENTITIES AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

IDENTITIES  AND CULTURAL DIVERSITY

 

CUES1 Communicates some common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences

 

- Identifies and describes their own characteristics, eg likes and dislikes, physical characteristics

- Compares their own characteristics with those of others

- Describes the groups that individuals belong to, eg the class, the family group, friends, Aboriginal language group

 

* In their own class and family groups.

 

Why is it so important to acknowledge and discuss our similarities and differences within our class and family groups?

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Teacher notes: Same_but_little_bit_diff'rent.pdf

Julia Tang's insight:

This Indigenous teaching resource incorporates teaching notes for the book ‘Same but little bit diff’rent’ by Kylie Dunstan and is useful, in that it provides the teacher insight into how the story of the book was created through highlighting an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective. Various quality teaching ideas that could be used before and after reading are provided, however, teachers are able to use these alone or adapt them to suit their own lessons and students. This quality children’s literature is highly effective and suitable for Early Stage 1 as it introduces students to the Indigenous culture. In addition, this text enables students to further enhance their literacy skills whilst simultaneously broadening their awareness and views of the Indigenous community and culture, by addressing the similarities and differences evident between the Indigenous and Non-Indigenous community through an interactive, engaging and non-threatening manner.

 

In order for students to grasp a thorough understanding of an Indigenous perspective, the teacher would organise and invite an Indigenous Elder from the community through the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group (AECG) or a parent, to visit the class and talk about the Indigenous community, family, culture, Aboriginal language groups and where the school is situated on the land, age appropriate to Early Stage 1 students. Thus, this will allow students to obtain a solid understanding of the Indigenous culture before dwelling into the book. Harrison and Greenfield (2011) further highlight the importance of regularly including Indigenous Elders or parents to share stories about their culture, as students “learn in place and in context through these stories, and as a result, produces “outstanding results” in the classroom (as cited in Harrison, 2011, p.13).

 

After a visit from an Indigenous Elder or parent, the teacher would model read the book aloud to the class enthusiastically, ensuring various tones of voice are used in order to maintain students’ attention. Before the book is read, a class analysis of the front cover, focusing closely on the image and title would be completed. This is linked to the English outcome "Ene-10C Thinks imaginatively and creatively about familiar topics, simple ideas and the basic features of texts when responding to and composing texts" through the indicator "discuss creative language features in imaginative texts that can enhance enjoyment, eg illustrations, repetition" (NSW BOS, 2012, p.48). Asking students questions such as, “What do you think this book is about, by looking at the front cover?”, “Look carefully at these two people, how are they the same?”, “What characteristics are the same?”, “What characteristics are different?” “What do you think is going to happen in the story?” Further scaffolding from the teacher will provide an even deeper analysis of the front cover of the book through questions such as, "Look closely at the colours used to draw the boy, where would you also find these colours?" (Aboriginal flag) "What does this tell us about the boy?" (He is Indigenous). Additional questions from the teaching notes can also be incorporated.

 

During reading, the teacher would direct the students’ attention to the images and key words which may be challenging for Early Stage 1. This would be accomplished by asking students to try and predict what these key words mean, by scaffolding students through the visual clues in the images, sentences and context of the story. A definition of these key terms would then be provided to the students. Encouraging prediction of what might happen next in the story will be implemented throughout the story as this supports students thinking skills (Winch et al., 2010, p.64). The use of repetition of the sentence “same…but little bit diff’rent” throughout the story will be highlighted upon, and links directly to the Ene-10C outcome mentioned above. In this activity, students can learn about what the word ‘repetition’ means, the purpose and why authors use repetition in books and texts. In this literacy lesson, students can also learn about the use of punctuation such as commas, exclamation marks and ellipses etc. and how this enhances texts whilst simultaneously influencing the way books are read.

 

After reading the book, students would form a large circle on the floor, to discuss various aspects of the book. Research conducted by Schellens & Valcke (2005) reveals that “discussion groups with high discussion activity perform better”, and therefore, the teacher will ensure highly effective questions will be asked to encourage heightened discussion (p.974). These questions can stem from the teaching notes, which compare both characters, such as, “What pets might you see at Normie’s city?”, “What pets might you see at the girl’s city?”, “What games does the girl play?” and “What games does Normie play?”. The book will be projected on the IWB so that students can work collaboratively as a whole to answer these questions.

 

In addition, an activity which could form part of an assessment could be to ask students to work in pairs to look at the visuals on each of the double pages, and compare the two children’s families and lifestyles through a T-chart. Students can draw images on the T-chart with a small description of what they drew. The modelling of this activity was demonstrated through the whole class discussion of similarities and differences evident in the book.

 

Furthermore, students could survey their classmates on different aspects of their lives, such as pets, parent’s occupations, family car etc. and compare these with the class through the use of tallies and graphs. A lesson about tallying and graphs in a Mathematics lesson would have been completed before this activity, so that students would have already familiarised themselves with tallies and graphs and how to interpret and read these before this activity.

 

 

Harrison, N. (2012). Teaching and Learning in Aboriginal Education. Second Edition.

Melbourne: Oxford University

 

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2012). English K-10 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Schellens, T. & Valcke, M. (2005). Collaborative learning in asynchronous discussion groups:What about the impact on cognitive processing? Computers in Human Behavior, 21, 957-975.

 

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

 

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Hungry Planet: What the World Eats from What Families Across the World Eat in One Week

Hungry Planet: What the World Eats from What Families Across the World Eat in One Week | Why is it so important to acknowledge and discuss our similarities and differences within our class and family groups? | Scoop.it
The Namgay family in their prayer room with a week's worth of food in Shingkhey, Bhutan. The family spend $5.03 a week on groceries. They cook with a clay stove fueled by wood fire, and preserve food by drying. The 2005 book "The Hungry Planet" documents families around the world with their weekly food purchases, exposing global food disparities.
Julia Tang's insight:

This website provides a global perspective as it contains numerous stimulating images of what families around the world eat in one week. These images are extracted from the book ‘The Hungry Planet’ by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio and thus the original book can be used with a projector to allow students to view the images clearly, in the case that the website provided does not contain images for the countries needed. Clicking the right arrow allows one to browse through the images. These images also encompass a small description on the right hand side describing the ways in which each family cooks and preserves food, the kitchen appliances used, as well as the associated costs of how much each family spends on their groceries in one week. These images are suitable for Early Stage 1, as students are able to focus more closely on the visual images, rather than the text itself.

 

To implement this into the classroom, the teacher would firstly explain the title “What the world eats in one week”. Focusing on the word “world”, the teacher will ask students to explain what it means, and then give a specific definition afterwards. Another word that the teacher could direct students’ attention to, is the word “week”. The explanation of the word “week” can be linked to Mathematics, by asking students how many days are there in one week, fortnight, months and years. After identifying and explaining the key terms used, the teacher would browse through the images one at a time, and point out certain elements of the pictures to encourage students to further decode the images. Students will therefore use the code-breaker skill to interpret the pictures by “decoding the elements and structural compositions of pictures”, which further encourage the use of their letter-sound knowledge and therefore, links and assists with their literacy (Winch et al., 2010, p.64). For example, “Who has the least amount of food?”, “What types of food does this family have, compared to that family?”, “Do they have fresh foods, dry foods, preserved foods or processed foods?” However, the teacher would break down the meaning of key words such as “fresh”, “dry” and “processed”, before asking questions which contain complex vocabulary.

 

Directing the students’ attention to the descriptions on the right hand side of the image would further allow them to decode the image to a greater extent. An example of a question to ask students could be, “Does anyone know what the word “preserve” means?” Following a response from the class, the teacher would then give a definition of what it means. “Why do you think this family in Sudan preserves their food?”, “Why do you think this family has lots of fresh food?”

 

After decoding the pictures and descriptions together, the teacher would then create a graph as a whole class, depicting the costs of how much each family spends on their groceries in one week. This activity can be integrated with another topic in HSIE, SSES1 Identifies ways in which their own needs and the needs of others are met, individually and cooperatively, through the subject matter “the use of money”. Furthermore, this can also be linked to Mathematics, through comparing and reading numbers. However, before introducing graphs, the concept of graphs, would have been covered in another mathematics lesson, which showed students how to draw, read and interpret graphs.

 

In addition, another activity linked to the images, would be to ask students to take a photo of what their family eats in one week, and the cost of the groceries for one week’s expenditure. Students will then have “News Time”, where they will be asked to volunteer, only if they feel comfortable, to present their image and describe it to the class. For an assessment, the teacher could place masking tape on the floor, with the word ‘less’ and the word ‘more’ on the left and right end respectively. The teacher would then ask students to place their photo which includes their associated cost of one week’s grocery, on the line, working collaboratively as a class group, to order them in ascending order. The close observation of how each student interacts with one another, and whether students are able to grasp the concept of less and more, by placing their image with associated cost on the number line will form an assessment.  

 

 

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2006). Human Society and its Environments K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

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

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Sesame Street: We All Sing the Same Song - YouTube

http://www.sesamestreet.org/play#media/video_b7b64b5c-236d-4e00-85cd-8d0ecd9d6dcc

 

Julia Tang's insight:

This Sesame Street song sung by children depicting the message that everyone is the same, although they are different, is appropriate for Early Stage 1 students in learning about similarities and differences in class and family, as it is both interactive and engaging, whilst also addressing family and class similarities and differences. The main concept of identifying similarities and differences, addressed throughout the video will more likely be grasped and recollected easily by the students, due to the interactive nature of this task. This YouTube video clip can be played on the IWB, where students can read the lyrics of the song in order to sing along. This is strongly supported by Mishra and Koehler (2006) who state that the effectiveness of the IWB, as a new technology has “changed the nature of the classroom” (p.1023). However, to ensure the website is child-friendly and safe, the video can also be retrieved and viewed through the Sesame Street website: http://www.sesamestreet.org/play#media/video_b7b64b5c-236d-4e00-85cd-8d0ecd9d6dcc

Lyrics can easily be obtained through the website: http://www.songlyrics.com/sesame-street/we-all-sing-with-the-same-voice-lyrics/ and printed out for each student to look onto, as the video on the Sesame Street website does not contain any lyrics in the video itself.

 

Before viewing the video with the class, the teacher would select key terms that are relatively complex for Early Stage 1 and write them on the IWB. Students would then be asked to try and explain what these terms mean, which will be followed by a definition from the teacher. Subsequently, the teacher would play the video on the IWB, breaking up the video into sections, to discuss and practise each section, so that students are able to sing along with the correct lyrics. After perfecting each section, the teacher would then ask the students to sing along to the whole video.

 

This resource is excellent as it is engaging and interactive, and will therefore guarantee that all students in the class will stay engaged throughout the lesson and as a result, students will be more likely to recall this information in future lessons. After singing the whole song as a class, the teacher would ask students to form a large circle on the floor in order to have a class discussion about what the intent of the song was, followed by discussing similarities and differences stated in the song.

 

Furthermore, this activity can be connected directly to Music, as students can learn about rhymes through finding rhyming words in the song, and in addition learn about rhythms through playing untuned instruments. This fulfils the outcome "MUES1.1 Participates in simple speech, singing, playing and moving activities, demonstrating awareness of musical concepts" through indicator "performs simple speech rhymes and songs maintaining a sense of beat and rhythm based on nursery rhymes" (NSW BOS, 2006, p.32). Each student would be allocated an untuned instrument, such as a triangle, tambourine, maraca etc. Different sections of the song would then be allocated to different instruments. The song will then be played on the IWB, and students will play their untuned musical instruments to the rhythm of the song, in their allocated sections. This highly engaging activity, made possible through the use of technologies such as the IWB shows the significance of technologies to the growing technological world (Mishra & Koehler, 2006, p.1023)

 

There are two assessments that could be incorporated in these lessons. Observation of students input in the class discussion and answering of questions is a key assessment that could be utilised. An additional assessment could be in the form of a checklist, where the teacher would walk around and observe if students are playing to the correct rhythm with their musical instruments. A video recording of the students playing their instruments to the rhythm of the song could also be utilised, however, permission from all student’s parents and the school must be given before commencing any form of recording.

 

Furthermore, another activity stemmed from the song, could be a class survey, intending to find how many siblings each student has in their family, which can then be plotted on a graph. Further analysis of the data, as a class, will thus enable students to see what number of siblings most people have in their family etc. However, in a previous mathematics lesson, the introduction of graphs and the purpose and interpretation of graphs would have been familiarised with the students. This activity is effective as it allows students to address the similarities and differences in both their class and families.

 

 

Mishra, P. & Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological Pedagogical Content Knowledge: A Framework for Teacher Knowledge. Teachers College Record Volume 108, Number 6, pp. 1017-1054.

 

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2006). Creative Arts K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

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Similarities and differences - YouTube

"Learn similarities and differences of our bodies"

Julia Tang's insight:

This YouTube video from ‘KidsClassroom’ informs students about the similarities and differences of various parts of their bodies. This visual resource is highly suitable for Early Stage 1 students, as the video uses basic comparisons of body parts, to introduce students to the idea that they share the same body parts such as eyes, nose, head, but nevertheless have different characteristics of these body parts such as black, blue, green and brown eyes. This highly engaging visual resource is further supported by Cronin & Myers (1997) who state that visuals “increase comprehensibility of the content”, “increases learners’ attention” and “increase enjoyment” (p.47). Thus, this video will, without a doubt, maintain students’ interest throughout the viewing of the clip.

 

Whilst watching this video, the teacher would stop the clip at specific times, in order to explain the key terms used, such as narrow, deep-set, glossy and height, to ensure all students are able to comprehend all the key concepts highlighted in the video. As a precaution, the teacher would stop the video at 2:33 or skip from 2:33-2:45, as the video talks about builds, and utilises the word ‘fat’. Some students may be sensitive about their weight and therefore it would be much safer to skip through that specific characteristic.

 

A follow up activity after viewing and discussing the video, could be to engage in a class brainstorm to discuss adjectives of body parts that were not mentioned in the video. This, along with the main key words addressed in the video will be written on the IWB, for students to refer to in the following activity.

 

Students will then be asked to work individually to draw a picture of themselves from head to toe and label their body parts using adjectives in the table provided or additional words of their own choice. This activity would be linked directly to English, where students learn about what adjectives are and the purposes of using adjectives in literacy.

 

After completing the drawing and labelling activity, students will decide collaboratively as a class, what part of their body, such as eye colour they would like to tally and graph. Firstly, the teacher will ask students to put up their hands for certain adjectives such as brown, blue, black, green eyes which will be tallied on the board. Through the use of tallying, students are able to count by ones, which links directly to mathematics outcome MAe-1WM "Describes mathematical situations using everyday language, actions, materials and informal

recordings" through the indicator "counts forwards by ones to add" (NSW BOS, 2012, p.48).

 

The teacher will then create a graph, to place all this information on. Before commencing this activity, students would have already learnt the main concepts of how to read and interpret graphs in a separate mathematics lesson. After creating the graph, the class will discuss aspects of the graph such as, what coloured eyes do most people have? And what coloured eyes do most people not have?

 

 

Cronin, M. W., & Myers, S. L. (1997). Effects of visuals versus no visuals on learning outcomes from interactive multimedia instructions. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 8(2), 46-71

 

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2012). Mathematics K-10 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

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School talks - Aaron Blabey

School talks - Aaron Blabey | Why is it so important to acknowledge and discuss our similarities and differences within our class and family groups? | Scoop.it
Aaron Blabey, picture book maker behind Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley, Sunday Chutney, Stanley Paste, The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon
Julia Tang's insight:

This website is a teaching resource that provides teachers with information on organising an incursion from Aaron Blabey, who is a renowned author of many popular children’s books. This incursion is suitable for Early Stage 1, in addressing the topic similarities and differences in the class, as Aaron Blabey will be reading his book ‘Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley’ which encompasses the main theme of similarities and differences between two people. He is also able to adapt his talks to a specific age group.

 

A discussion of the title page, images and key words will be highlighted upon throughout the book. This close analysis of images and text in the book fulfils the English outcome "ENe-8B Demonstrates emerging skills and knowledge of texts to read and view, and shows developing awareness of purpose, audience and subject matter", through the indicator "recognise that words and pictures have meaning and that words can be read aloud" (NSW BOS, 2012, p.44). Encouraging prediction throughout the story, will also be emphasised upon, as “research continually indicates the significance of prediction” (Winch, Johnston, March, Ljungdahl & Holliday, 2010, p.600). This website provides addition information about bookings which can be made through the website itself. Due to the nature of this resource, it will ensure all students are safe as this incursion takes place inside of the school grounds. In addition, allowing a book to be read from the author themselves will spark the excitement of students and the sharing of personal stories relating to how the book was created and the source of ideas for the book, thus connecting students more closely on a personal level with the text. Constructing the illustrations of the characters for the students to see and draw themselves, will without a doubt, maintain all students’ interests.

 

A teaching idea that could be undertaken in the classroom, after this incursion session has been completed, is constructing a Venn Diagram to compare similarities and differences between the two characters, Pearl and Charlie. A picture of a Venn Diagram would be placed on the Interactive White Board (IWB) and as a whole class, students would label Pearl and Charlie. Through scaffolding, the teacher would then flip through the book to use as a guide, and focus the students on specific pages, where there are similarities or differences, such as loud and shy. Students would then find the similarities and differences on the page and have the opportunity to volunteer and write this in the Venn Diagram on the IWB. However, before this Venn Diagram activity, the teacher would have already introduced the idea of Venn Diagrams to the class so that all students were already familiar with the function and how to draw these.

 

An assessment that could be used to confirm that students grasped the idea of Venn Diagrams, is to pair students up and provide them with a scaffold of a Venn Diagram without any labels. Students will then work collaboratively in pairs to compare features and characteristics of themselves with their partner. This group work will improve students’ “confidence” and “motivation” which assists in completing the task to a high quality, as well as presenting and explaining their Venn Diagrams to the class if groups feel comfortable (Gilbert & Hoepper, 2011, p.145). Before commencing this task, the teacher would provide an example on the board comparing themselves with another student or teacher, using facial or body characteristics, such as eyes, hair and height, in order to guide students that are in need of assistance. A vocabulary list will be provided on the IWB, which will include features and characteristics such as eyes, hair and nose. This task would allow the teacher to collect work samples to use as an assessment and allows students to explore the similarities and differences between peers in their class.

 

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

 

New South Wales Board of Studies. (2012). English K-10 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

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

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