Kindergarten: what groups do I belong to?
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This is a resource site that I have put together in order to help educators as well as anyone interested about teaching belonging in the HSIE k-6 syllabus.  These resources are versatile and can be used, manipulated  and imbedded into various KLAS  and lessons.  The resources here have been catered for educators teaching early stage one students about belonging and the subject matter on Cultures in particular "Groups that individuals belong to ".  I hope you find these resources useful and that they help create engaging and meaningful lessons in regards to belonging.  

 

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2) Whose mouse are you ?

Whose mouse are you ?

A short story about a mouse that realises that he belongs with his family after first doubting that he does belong. The story book starts out with a sad outlook on the mouse's life, he believes that he doesn't really belong anywhere, he doesn't belong with his family.  This changes throughout the book through the narrator's questions,  the mouse comes to realises that infact he does belong. He belongs with his family. 

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Christina Mavris's comment, April 18, 2013 3:12 AM
One of the very first groups that children belong to are their families. In the Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework; Theme Identity and Belonging, it states that "When children feel a sense of belonging and sense of pride in their families, their peers, and their communities, they can be emotionally strong, self-assured, and able to deal with challenges and difficulties.". This quote clearly identifies the importance of children's sense of belonging to family. The relationship between child and family is a crucial one because children develop their sense of self through their interactions with their family, therefore a strong sense of belonging encourages children to have a positive self view and develop pride in themselves ( Aistear: the Early Childhood Curriculum Framework; Theme Identity and Belonging). This resource is a picture book which is aimed at early childhood children and early stage one students. It clearly shows the importance of family and the impact that belonging has on the individual through exploring the individuals sense of belonging. The mouse at the beginning of the story states that he isn't anyone's mouse, he doesn't belong, his family is scattered. However through the narrators questions the mouse takes courage and sets about to reunite his family together. The sense of belonging to a family is clearly illustrated and shown through the mouse's determination to get his family together and reunited. The end shows the mouse having the sense of belonging to a family, he is no longer alone. The text shows us the mouse belonging with his family, the narrator asks the mouse "whose mouse are you?" and the mouse replies "My mother's mouse, she loves so. My father's mouse, from head to toe...".
The teacher can use this resource to introduce students to the idea that each one of them belongs to their family, that maybe parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, any person or people that take care of a student and that the student considers family. The teacher can utilise this resource with many Key Learning Area (KLAs) including Creative Arts, English and Geography. Students can create a drawing or a painting of their families and themselves, they may explore in a group different types of families around the world and within Australia or they may even write a few sentences about their own family in their exercise books. This resource is very easily incorporated into a range of KLAs.
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4) Belonging to Groups: Critical challenges that students can complete in order to explore this overarching theme.

4) Belonging to Groups: Critical challenges that students can complete in order to explore this overarching theme. | Kindergarten: what groups do I belong to? | Scoop.it

A wonderful resource which educators can use in order to help introduce and teach the topic of belonging to kindergarten students.  There are a variety of lesson ideas and resources which will assist teachers in teaching  belonging and helping students comprehend the meaning of belonging.  Every lesson idea and resource is catered for kindergarten students.

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Christina Mavris's comment, April 22, 2013 8:56 AM
Teaching about belonging to young students can be challenging. It maybe difficult for the students to understand and comprehend the topic, however teachers can use this website as a guide to help them create interesting lessons which can help young early stage 1 students comprehend the topic of belonging. This website is specifically catered to teaching about groups which students belong to and has 6 lesson ideas which can assist teachers in creating the lessons. This website covers a range of important activities on belonging from what is a group and what constitutes a group, how to identify people who belong to a group eg. Badge (scouts), through to students belonging to a language/ culture, family etc. Each activity is called a challenge, each challenge has the suggested activity, related outcomes (note this is a Canadian site, however the explanation of each outcome should help teachers to map it to their own countries/ states/ county's or school's syllabus), references and related resources. The teacher may use the suggested activities as part of their matrix on the unit of belonging or intertwine the suggested activities with their own material to help the students further understand the topic of belonging. Furthermore the teacher can choose to use the challenges as an assessment task to see whether the students have understood and comprehended the topic of belonging and understood what it means to belong to a variety of different groups. It is possible that the teacher can use the same challenge in the very first lesson of teaching the students on belonging and use the exact same challenge at the end and see if throughout the various activities, interactions, games and lessons students have comprehended the overall meaning of belonging. Are the students able to successfully answer the question "Which groups do I belong to?".
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1) Team Building Activities, Games & Lesson Plans for Elementary Students - eThemes

1) Team Building Activities, Games & Lesson Plans for Elementary Students - eThemes | Kindergarten: what groups do I belong to? | Scoop.it

Here are suggestions for games, activities, and lesson plans to encourage team building among elementary school students. There are indoor and outdoor activities, and cross-curricular lesson ideas. Many of these activities can be adapted for different age groups. Included are eThemes resources on cooperative learning and cooperative problem solving.

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Christina Mavris's comment, April 22, 2013 5:09 AM
Belonging to a classroom community allows students to feel that they are part of something, to feel safe and secure and to feel like they fit in. McMillan & Chavis (1986) describe the sense of belonging as " The sense of belonging and identification involves the feeling, belief, and expectation that one fits in the group and has a place there, a feeling of acceptance by the group...." ( pg.10). The teacher has the responsibility to create such an environment which is warm, safe and students feel as though they belong to their classroom. This resource is a great resource which teachers can use in order to bring a sense of belonging amongst students in the classroom. This resource has a number of activities, games and lesson plans which are all catered to building a sense of belonging in the classroom. The activities focus on team work, group work, pairs as well as individual activities. The activities in the resources show why belonging to a classroom community is important and the students soon find this out for themselves through participating in the games/activities/lessons.
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3) World Vision Australia: A Day in the Life of 5 Children

3) World Vision Australia: A Day in the Life of 5 Children | Kindergarten: what groups do I belong to? | Scoop.it

A Global perspectives resource which focuses on the lives of 5 children from around the Global.  This resource allows students to explore other cultures, to see how children live and belong in their country. The resource can be used by the teacher to teach their students about belonging or to assess and evaluate whether students are able to adequately use their knowledge of belonging and apply it to 5 short case studies. This resource  provides the teacher with: student worksheets, teacher notes, extra images of the 5 children as well as the stories of the 5 children.

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Christina Mavris's comment, April 22, 2013 4:56 AM
This is a great teaching resource to use in the classroom. It allows students to see how other children live in their respective communities and also allows students to explore and answer the question " what groups do these children/students belong to?". The teacher can use this resource to plan a variety of lessons but can also use the resource to see if the students have understood the concept of belonging and if they are able to see what group others belong to, eg. community, family, school, sports group etc.
This resource is also important because it gives a global perspective to the concept of belonging. The teacher can use the resource and link it to various Key Learning Areas including English for example students can write a description about themselves or about one of their family members, in Geography the students can mark where each child has come from and research a bit about that country. Similarly in Mathematics students can learn to compare differences and similarities between themselves and the children portrayed in the five short autobiographies.
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5) Relationship to land and country

5) Relationship to land and country | Kindergarten: what groups do I belong to? | Scoop.it

This short reading explains in great detail the strong relationship between Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders that exists with the environment, animals, land, culture and their country.  

 

Short Extract:

"Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people have diverse relationships with, connections to and understandings of the Australian environment. Some of these relationships are based on the traditional knowledges and practices that have been passed down from generation to generation, while others have resulted from the various impacts of colonisation...Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people use plants, animals and other natural materials from the Australian environment, showing a distinct relationship to country." 

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Christina Mavris's comment, April 22, 2013 8:56 AM
This short paper is on the relationship between Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders and their land, their country, their environment and their spirituality. This paper explains in detail the significance of land and country to Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islander people and also explains the importance of culture, religion and ceremonies as well. The word country is significant in this paper as it refers to what part of Australia an individual comes from. "Uncle Ernie Grant, an elder from the Tully area, explains that the relationships Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people have with the environment involve an understanding of the time, place and cultural relationships found within a particular area, and the relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of that area. These are all relationships to country." The Indigenous people of Australian are also interlinked with important sites on traditional land that are used for ceremonial practices. Teachers can use this resource to further their knowledge about the importance to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders belonging to a certain group or country and the environment. This resource gives the reader a greater understanding about why belonging to country and environment is vital to the Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders. Teachers can use this resource and the knowledge that they obtain from this resource to further explore Indigenous relationships with the land and create lessons that help students understand how Indigenous people are connected with the land and their country.
Christina Mavris's comment, April 23, 2013 1:42 AM
Furthermore a great activity that could be organised by the teacher would be to conduct an interview with an Elder of the local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander community. This will be a fantastic way for students to ask questions about belonging and to get an Indigenous perspective on the topic.