Early Stage 1 HSIE: Experiences and Interactions with their Immediate Environment
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World Vision Australia

World Vision Australia | Early Stage 1 HSIE: Experiences and Interactions with their Immediate Environment | Scoop.it

A resource to develop students’ global understanding, focusing on the collection of water.

Laura Monk's insight:

For children growing up in Australia, it is difficult to comprehend how different the lives of other children around the world can be. The World Vision website provides a range of resources for teachers to assist them in teaching global perspectives. This resource, “Take a walk in Zoe’s shoes”, explains to students how differently a young girl in Zambia would interact with her environment by comparing the students’ and Zoe’s different methods for collecting water. Perfectly pitched at a young audience, the comic book-style drawings introduce students to this topic area, without being too confronting. Students will learn about human rights and how to take “action for a sustainable future in different times and places” (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trading, 2012).

 

The worksheet provided allows students to consider how they interact with their environment in the process of collecting water, and to compare this with the experiences of other children in a different part of the world. However, teachers do not need to be limited by the activities provided on the worksheet – this topic allows for in-depth exploration and investigation and this resource can just be the starting point of a series of lessons to develop students’ global awareness.

 

Gilbert and Hoepper (2011) recognize that “pedagogies in human rights, social justice and diversity education that offer powerful learning are those that engage students by going beyond acquisition of knowledge. They present authentic scenarios and real life case studies that require students to critically think and respond. They provide opportunities for student participation and action beyond the classroom” (p.373). Role-play is the ideal method for allowing students to more directly experience the content and develop perspective (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2011, p.149) and could be used very effectively in this learning scenario by allowing students to ‘experience’ collecting water like Zoe does in Zambia. Students could also be encouraged to take action by employing more sustainable practices at home and at school (e.g. turning the tap off when brushing their teeth, taking shorter showers).

 

References:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. (2012). What is global education? Retrieved 10th March, 2014, from http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/global-education/what-is-global-ed.html

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching society and environment (4th ed.). Cengage Learning: Australia.

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Australian Organic Schools

Australian Organic Schools | Early Stage 1 HSIE: Experiences and Interactions with their Immediate Environment | Scoop.it

Engage young students in the hands-on learning activity of gardening to allow them to interact with their environment. 

Laura Monk's insight:

In interacting with their local environment, it is crucial that students develop an awareness of environmental protection and sustainability. With the recognition of sustainable development as the “most appropriate response for future environmental, social and economic development” (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2011, p.351), education becomes a critical resource in “achieving environmental and ethical awareness, values and attitudes, skills, and behaviour consistent with [this goal]” (UNESCO_UNEP, cited in Gilbert and Hoepper, 2011, p.353). Therefore, it is our responsibility to engage children in learning activities that will encourage sustainable practices and educate them for a sustainable future.

 

Gardening is an excellent way to get children outside in their immediate environment and to develop their understanding of sustainable practice. The NSW government now funds initiatives to enable schools to develop vegetable gardens; links to apply for these grants are available from their website.

 

However, the link above for Australian Organic Schools provides teachers with a wealth of information and resources about sustainable food-growing practices. By exploring the website, teachers will find useful information that they can develop into activities suitable for Early Stage 1 students, as well as video resources explaining the farming processes and detailing the introduction of gardens in other schools (selected videos are appropriate for Early Stage 1 viewing). By joining this free web resource, teachers will also be able to access pre-designed curriculum materials. Through activities such as this, “the implicit focus is not only on building a culture of sustainability, but enabling children to have direct experiences with nature through the school grounds environment” (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2011, p.358). Young students will love the responsibility of tending to a small vegetable garden, and will be excited to see the results of their efforts. The experience would also allow for a link to literacy learning (ENe-11D: responds to and composes simple texts about familiar aspects of the world and their own experiences (NSW BoS, 2012)), as students could write simple sentences about the processes they have gone through in developing a vegetable garden (this activity should be appropriately scaffolded by the teacher to meet the differing needs of their students). Gardening truly is a highly effective method for education young students about environmental sustainability and actively engages them in their immediate environment.

 

References:

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching society and environment (4th ed.). Cengage Learning: Australia.

NSW BoS. (2012). English K-10 syllabus. Retrieved March 10th, 2014, from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/

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Maps: Tools for Adventure - Adventure Island

Maps: Tools for Adventure - Adventure Island | Early Stage 1 HSIE: Experiences and Interactions with their Immediate Environment | Scoop.it

A game that will help young students to develop the skills necessary to experience their local environment through maps. 

Laura Monk's insight:

Maps are a fantastic way for students to develop a greater understanding of their local environment. However, the concepts necessary for mapping processes, including scale and symbolism, can be difficult for students to grasp. This interactive game introduces students to mapping techniques in an engaging manner, allowing them to develop knowledge and skills that will assist them in interacting with their local environment. It is ideal for Early Stage 1, with all instructions being both written and read aloud, engaging animations and basic activities so that students could complete the game independently during ICT time. This interactive website provides an “authentic learning [experience, which] engages students in manipulating information and ideas” (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2011, p.102).

 

Developing these basic mapping skills will lead to a wealth of further activities that will continue to actively engage children in interactions with their environment. For example, mapping the school grounds provides an authentic experience for children, which provides opportunities for interaction with their immediate environment. Whilst walking around the school, students could take note of prominent features in their school, before designing a map as a class, which details these features through the use of a key and symbols. This activity would also allow for the integration of mathematics outcomes, as students use informal measurement units (e.g. match sticks) to develop a basic scale. This whole class learning activity would encourage students to consider how they interact with their school environment on a daily basis, as well as developing mapping skills that will support further interactions and experiences with their local environments.

 

Furthermore, teachers could assess students’ basic understanding of maps by providing them with a simple map and asking questions related to the points explored in the above activities (for example, interpreting the key).

 

Reference:

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching society and environment (4th ed.). Cengage Learning: Australia. 

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Duffys Forest | Warringah Council

Duffys Forest | Warringah Council | Early Stage 1 HSIE: Experiences and Interactions with their Immediate Environment | Scoop.it

Actively involve students in the protection of their local environment of Duffys Forest!

Laura Monk's insight:

“The heart of global education is enabling young people to participate in shaping a better, shared future for the world” (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 2012). Therefore, education programs need to focus on assisting students to develop the skills and knowledge to meet these goals. For such learning experiences to be meaningful to young students, they need to directly relate to their local environment and experience.

 

For schools on the North Shore, this website provides the ideal resources for educating students on the need to protect their local environment; the protected Duffys Forest area in the Warringah Council area. Whilst the website is clearly designed for use by children, this site would be too difficult for Early Stage 1 students to navigate independently. However, it provides some excellent resources for teachers, including integrated units of work (incorporating English, Mathematics, Science and Technology, and HSIE) and a curriculum matrix, as well as resources for whole-class participation.

 

The ‘Explore’ tab will lead you to an interactive webpage, which provides a wide range of activities; selected ones will be appropriate for whole class participation and learning on an IWB. For example, the activity Who am I? under the Animals in Duffys Forest tab, or the Actions that Affect Duffys Forest activity in the Threats to Duffys Forest tab, would both be ideal for use in ES1. The videos are also particularly informative; with some detailed discussion on terminology and vocabulary, these videos could extend Early Stage 1 students and develop their environmental awareness. Furthermore, these videos are largely focused on acknowledging the traditional practices of the original custodians of the land; the Guringai people. It is significant that the information provided directly relates to the practices of the local community group, rather than “providing only a national overview of Aboriginal history and culture” (NSW BoS, 2008, p.14). Students will therefore learn about the traditional sustainable practices used by the local Aboriginal community, as well as learning methods they could employ to create a more sustainable future.

 

The activities under the extension tab could be adapted for use in schools, and provide a range of ideas for students to actively participate in environmentally sustainable practices. Finally, this website provides an opportunity for students to become a ‘Duffys Defender’. Encouraging students to actively engage in positive actions for their community is ideal in a critical social understanding and action approach to teaching HSIE.

 

References:

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. (2012). What is global education? Retrieved 10th March, 2014, from http://www.globaleducation.edu.au/global-education/what-is-global-ed.html

NSW BoS. (2008). Working with Aboriginal communities: A guide to community consultation and protocols. Retrieved March 10th, 2014, from http://abed.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/files/working-with-aboriginal-communities.pdf

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Centennial Parklands: Excursions

Centennial Parklands: Excursions | Early Stage 1 HSIE: Experiences and Interactions with their Immediate Environment | Scoop.it

Take students on an excursion to explore the Centennial Parklands, allowing them to develop knowledge whilst actively engaging with their local environment. 

Laura Monk's insight:

Engaging students “in activities that go beyond the more passive and individual forms of learning” act to improve motivation and experiential learning of students (Gilbert and Hoepper, 2011, p.143). Excursions are an excellent way to involve students in these ‘hands-on’ approaches to learning. For any schools located in the Sydney region, the Centennial Parklands are ideally situated for a day of hands-on, engaging learning activities for your students. The link above is to the Parklands excursion page, where teachers will find all of the relevant information about the different excursions available. In particular, the Early Years and Foundation excursion for Sensory Explorers would provide students with numerous opportunities to engage with and experience their local environment through sensory games and activities.

 

Alternatively, teachers could consider the Aboriginal Education excursions. The Excursion Theme of the “Bushtucker Bash” could be tailored to meet the needs of Early Stage 1 students, and would provide them with information on how the Indigenous populations of Australia interact with the environment in sustainable ways. As “the best way for students to learn about Aboriginal history and culture is to listen to the experiences of Aboriginal people” (NSW BoS, 2008, p.20), the Centennial Parklands aim to ensure that these excursions are run by an Aboriginal Educator from the local area, who understands the customs, practices and traditions of their local people.

 

Further information can be found on all excursion options by exploring the tabs on the left, or downloading the full excursion program.

 

An excursion could also lead well into an assessment strategy, allowing students to reflect on their learning and to assist teachers in evaluating the effectiveness of the educational experience. For example, students could write a sentence about something that they learnt whilst on the excursion (this task could obviously be scaffolded to meet the individual learning needs of students e.g. sentence scaffold, providing essential vocabulary on the board). This would allow students to reflect on what they learnt whilst on the excursion and provides the teacher with information about the students’ learning. It also creates a link to the English syllabus (ENe-2A: composes simple texts to convey an idea or message (NSW BoS, 2012)).

 

References:

Gilbert, R. & Hoepper, B. (2011). Teaching society and environment (4th ed.). Cengage Learning: Australia.

NSW BoS. (2008). Working with Aboriginal communities: A guide to community consultation and protocols. Retrieved March 10th, 2014, from http://abed.boardofstudies.nsw.edu.au/files/working-with-aboriginal-communities.pdf

NSW BoS. (2012). English K-10 syllabus. Retrieved March 10th, 2014, from http://syllabus.bos.nsw.edu.au/english/english-k10/

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