Exploring traditional and religious stories with Stage 1 students
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The Chinese Zodiac Story

The Chinese Zodiac Story | Exploring traditional and religious stories with Stage 1 students | Scoop.it
An illustrated story of the Chinese Zodiac. This traditional Chinese story is ideal for use as a literacy text in schools.
Jessica Lehane's insight:

The Chinese Zodiac Story is a digital storybook that shares the origins of the Chinese Zodiac system. The story could be incorporated into a unit of work on celebrations, linked to the Chinese New Year. This story can be read as a class, after which, the students can then be engaged in a discussion about the story's themes and characters, and the calendar system that is created. Students can then complete activities, learning how Chinese New Year is celebrated. For example, students may consider similarities and differences between the twelve year cycle of the Chinese calendar system and another calendar system. Students may also compare Chinese New Year celebrations with a different cultural celebration, perhaps brainstorming the different ways in which a New Year can be celebrated. Students can also share how they celebrate with their family. The resource also provides a link for students to find out which zodiac animal they are. Sharing this story with students provides them with the cultural and historical context in which the Zodiac system was formed. The resource also offers a global perspective as it provides students the opportunity to learn the origins of a Chinese cultural tradition. Tudball (2014, p. 372) has stated the importance of including projects in the classroom that will develop students “Asian literacy”. This will help students to recognise the diversity of the Asia region, a region with which Australia has strong connections. Furthermore, students need to be made aware of the increasing interdependence of the world, as global relationships form across cultures, environments and social systems (AusAID, 2008).

 

AusAID. (2008). Global perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian schools. Victoria: Education Services Australia.

 

Tudball, L. (2014). Asia and Australia's engagement with Asia. In R. Gilbert and B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching humanities and social sciences: History, geography, economics and citizenship in the Australian curriculum (pp. 370-389). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

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Australian Aboriginal Art Project

Australian Aboriginal Art Project | Exploring traditional and religious stories with Stage 1 students | Scoop.it

Second Graders in Hortonville learn about "dreamtime" paintings and use similar symbols to create their own stories.

Jessica Lehane's insight:

This video shows a lesson plan on Dreamtime Art projects in action. The lesson presents an 'Arts' activity that can be used to encourage students to further engage with and explore Indigenous perspectives of the Dreamtime. The lesson would be a great addition to a unit of work covering Dreaming stories. Students can put into practice symbols and values learned through previous exposure to Dreamtime stories and art, helping to further reinforce their understanding of Indigenous culture. Students are encouraged to produce their own stories, applying knowledge of the different symbols and colours used in Dreamtime art. There are websites that present charts and glossaries of the symbols used in Indigenous art which may be useful for students to refer to. One useful site is the Central Art Aboriginal art store (link provided below). This site is affiliated with Aboriginal Artists Agency Limited. The activity links well to outcome CUS1.3, allowing students to identify customs, symbols and practices of a culture they may or may not be familiar with. This resource also encourages students to inquire beyond traditional narrative forms, highlighting art as a platform to share stories and produce narratives. Ewing (2010) has addressed the value in embedding 'Arts' processes into other curriculum areas beyond the Creative Arts field. “Arts processes facilitate the selection, analysis, reflection, and interpretation of information, at the same time enabling us to become aware of our own social and cultural biases” (Ewing, 2010, p. 59). Students can present their understanding and knowledge of the Dreamtime while also using their imagination.

 

Glossary of Art Symbols website

http://www.aboriginalartstore.com.au/aboriginal-art-culture/aboriginal-symbols-glossary/

 

Ewing, R. (2010). Literacy and the arts. In F. Christie & A. Simpson (Eds), Literacy and social responsibility: Multiple perspectives (pp. 56-67). London: Equinox.

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Racism. No Way.: Library

Racism. No Way.: Library | Exploring traditional and religious stories with Stage 1 students | Scoop.it
This website aims to tackle racism in schools in Australia, through providing teachers, school students, parents and governors with games, research and lesson ideas that explore the causes and effects of racism for practical use in the classroom.
Jessica Lehane's insight:

The fact sheets available on this site are a useful resource for teachers to develop both their own and students' knowledge of the many cultures within Australia. In particular, the section titled, 'Cultural Diversity and Multiculturalism', provides a great overview of the prominent religious and multicultural communities in Australia. Information covers several major religions including; Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. Indigenous traditions are also addressed. The fact sheets cover a brief history and the origin of each religion, as well as key beliefs, festivals, and practices. Exploring these resources may be useful preparation for teachers before commencing a unit of work that addresses cultural and religious diversity. Furthermore, they can also guide a teacher to find appropriate resources to introduce cultural diversity to their students. As outlined in the concept of “pedagogical content knowledge”, teachers should first learn their subject matter and then formulate ways to teach the content in a manner that is “meaningful and useable” for students and that can be applied in different contexts (Loughran, 2013, p. 124). Teacher's need to consider how they will translate their knowledge through their practice. The information available on the 'Racism No Way' site encourages Australian teachers to learn about the scope of cultural diversity within their nation so that they can effectively incorporate multicultural views into their practice while avoiding practices that may have 'potentially racist consequences' (Gilbert & Keeley, 2014, p. 355).

 

Gilbert, R., & Keeley, K. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. In R. Gilbert and B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching humanities and social sciences: History, geography, economics and citizenship in the Australian curriculum (pp. 344-369). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

 

Loughran, J. (2013). Pedagogy: Making sense of the complex relationship between teaching and learning. Curriculum inquiry, 43(1), 118-141.

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2Create a Story: Digital Storybook Creation Tool

2Create a Story: Digital Storybook Creation Tool | Exploring traditional and religious stories with Stage 1 students | Scoop.it
2Create a Story allows students to make digital stories in minutes and publish them anywhere!
Jessica Lehane's insight:

The vast number of technologies available today can be valuable classroom resources when used to increase the accessibility of subject matter for learners (Mishra & Koehler, 2006, p. 1023). It is important for teachers to integrate technology within their practice as Information and Communication Technology has been included as a General Capability in the new Australian curriculum. This particular resource enables students to create their own digital stories that can be published and shared with their peers. The program is suitable for Stage 1 as it can be easily navigated and uses simple tools. However, it is advisable for teachers to model the program to their students before use (Johnson & Gilbert, 2014, p. 158), and offer continued guidance and support. The following teaching activity demonstrates how this program can be used to support learning through constructivist principles. Children are to be divided into pairs or small groups and will be allocated a major world religion. They will need to find a story about an important festival or celebration from their specified religion. For Stage 1 it would be useful for the teacher to find appropriate books or online resources, directing students to relevant information for the task as resource selection can be challenging (Johnson & Gilbert, 2014, p. 164). The students can then work together to create a digital story that can be shared with their class. The task uses a constructivist approach by encouraging students to 'learn by doing', construct individual meaning from the experience, and learn with and from others through collaboration and sharing (Loughran, 2013, p. 121). The task also allows for global perspectives to be embedded into student learning. Students will be able to explore cultural and religious practices that they may be unfamiliar with, develop awareness of similarities and differences between cultures, and recognise that people can have different beliefs, values and attitudes (AusAID, 2008). Furthermore, the activity may be a useful assessment for students as they have the opportunity to “learn about, and share experiences of, events celebrated by students in the class and students in other communities” (Board of Studies, 2007, p. 50) and to demonstrate awareness of cultural differences.

Students will then have the chance to receive feedback not only from their teacher, but also their peers. Encouraging peer assessment is a valuable way to show students how assessment can be used to improve learning (Gilbert, 2014, p. 102).

 

AusAID. (2008). Global perspectives: A framework for global education in Australian schools. Victoria: Education Services Australia.

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2007). Syllabus human society and its environment K-6. Sydney: Author.

 

Gilbert, R. (2014) Assessment for student learning. In R. Gilbert and B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching humanities and social sciences: History, geography, economics and citizenship in the Australian curriculum (pp. 96-114). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

 

Johnson, N. F., & Gilbert, R. (2014) Using information and communication technologies. In R. Gilbert and B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching humanities and social sciences: History, geography, economics and citizenship in the Australian curriculum (pp. 156-175). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

 

Loughran, J. (2013). Pedagogy: Making sense of the complex relationship between teaching and learning. Curriculum inquiry, 43(1), 118-141.

 

Mishra, P., & Koehler, M.J. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. Teachers college record 108(6), pp. 1017-1054.

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Tiddalick the Frog - Aboriginal Dreamtime Story - YouTube

Tiddalick the Frog is an Aboriginal Dreamtime Story from the Murray River Region of New South Wales, Australia. 

Jessica Lehane's insight:

Dreaming stories are an important part of Indigenous culture. Students need to be made aware of the inclusion of Indigenous culture as part of Australia's shared history and identity. This can be achieved through storytelling, a practice that is universal and “a part of our common humanity” (Meek, 1991, p. 103). 'Tiddalick the Frog' is a traditional story that can be shared with students to introduce them to the Dreamtime. The story is quite engaging through its use of humour, and, repetitive elements make it easy to follow. The video begins with a brief introduction, identifying the story's significance to the Indigenous group from the Murray river area in NSW and Victoria. The introduction also helps students to see the importance of stories within Indigenous culture (Gilbert & Keeley, 2014, p. 350) by addressing the story's relationship to the local ecology of the Murray river area, particularly noting the important role of water in the environment. As Gilbert and Keeley (2014, p. 360) have mentioned, “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples' perceptions of and attachments to Country/Place give insights into the significance of place, and different ways of thinking about and interacting with the biophysical environment and its resources.” This rendition of 'Tiddalick the Frog' attends to this notion, highlighting how animals interact with the land and the critical value of water in their habitat.

 

'Tiddalick the Frog' can also be presented as a literacy development strategy in the classroom. Meek (1991, p. 103) has stated that to understand the relation of storytelling to literacy, “we must see the value and nature of narrative as a means by which human beings, everywhere, represent and structure their world.” 'Tiddalick the Frog' illustrates how Indigenous peoples' have translated their understanding of the world into the narrative form. After viewing this resource, students can be engaged in a discussion to explore their understanding of the events within the story. Discussion may focus on character actions, relationships and feelings, for example, asking students to share how they think the other animals felt after Tiddalick drank all of the water. The video may also be played a second time through, allowing the teacher to pause at particular frames to guide student discussion. Furthermore, students can be encouraged to consider how visual and auditory features were used to tell the story. For example, asking students to share how the background music made them feel, whether they liked the illustrations included and why, and the role of the narrator. The story links to the Culture strand of the syllabus for Stage 1, allowing students to explore cultural practices, customs and traditions from an Indigenous perspective. The resource may also be linked to the Environment outcomes of the HSIE syllabus as the content addresses ecology, conservation, and Indigenous relationships with the land.

 

Gilbert, R., & Keeley, K. (2014). Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures. In R. Gilbert and B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching humanities and social sciences: History, geography, economics and citizenship in the Australian curriculum (pp. 344-369). Melbourne: Cengage Learning.

 

Meek, M. (1991). Why are stories so special? In, On being literate (pp. 100-123). London: The Bodly Head.

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