HSIE CUS1.3 Customs and practices important to students, including celebrations
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Harmony Day – Educational Resources for Teachers – Primary

Harmony Day – Educational Resources for Teachers – Primary | HSIE CUS1.3 Customs and practices important to students, including celebrations | Scoop.it
Aneenha Orkey's insight:

Harmony Day, celebrated annually on March 21, is managed by the Department of Immigration and Citizenship and celebrated by several Australian schools as a symbol of appreciation and respect for cultural diversity. The theme for 2013 was Many Stories: One Australia, which could translate into the central principle to teach both Australian and other cultures to Stage 1 students. This site provides information, resources and activities across every school subject, and the activities could be easily adapted to suit any Stage of learning in classrooms. It is a great resource to use leading up to Harmony Day, and even throughout the year. The activities listed are built around helping students to embrace their own culture and develop understanding and respect for other cultural perspectives and practices. They encourage student inquiry into concepts like ‘culture’, ‘diversity’ and ‘respect’, while spanning different key learning areas in activity-based learning.

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Cultural Dancing around the World

Cultural Dancing around the World | HSIE CUS1.3 Customs and practices important to students, including celebrations | Scoop.it
Kids learn about cultural dance around the world. Navigate and see dancing from all parts of the world with our cultural dance map.
Aneenha Orkey's insight:

This site is a great page that covers the cultural practice of dance across several regions worldwide. By clicking on a particular region on the world map, you can see several different cultural dances by region and country; each listed dance is linked to a YouTube video clip. For Stage 1, it is a simple audio-visual identifier of diversity given that the students can see the variety of dances from different cultures in the same region, and also draw similarities with dances in other regions. Because of the commonality of dance in celebrations across the world, students can develop an understanding of the significance of this cultural practice. The practice of dance unites everyone together, because every culture represents itself through one or more traditional dances. It is the human representation of celebration.

 

In classrooms, this site can provide opportunities for a variety of learning activities. Students can watch 2-5 dances and brainstorm what similarities they saw in the movements, the music and the costumes and the teacher could explain how these are significant to the culture and what it celebrates. At a more advanced level, the teacher could explain how some dances involve men and women together, while some separate them, and how this is relevant to the culture. And just like culture and human society, dances also evolve.

 

All in all, the site is a good source to expose students to dance as a cultural practice worldwide, and a good interactive tool for each student to see a dance from their background (especially in multicultural schools) as point of connection in the global picture.

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Kyol Blakeney's curator insight, April 8, 2014 12:17 AM

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.

 

Board of Studies (2006). HSIE K-6 Syllabus

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Festivals of Light Around the World

Festivals of Light Around the World | HSIE CUS1.3 Customs and practices important to students, including celebrations | Scoop.it
The diversity in many classrooms provides a starting point for children to begin to understand and value the many distinct cultures of the world. What better way to do that than to feature a winter unit on light festivals from around the world.
Aneenha Orkey's insight:

Considering the cultural diversity in schools and classrooms, this article provides an insight into how different cultures base practices and celebrations around a celebrate element or theme – in this case, light. Presenting cultural festivities around a theme or element can encourage children to understand similarity in diversity across different cultures, that there are basic principles which unite us despite our surface differences. By identifying how an element like light translates in different ways to different people, students can also learn the value of this element – this could further tie in to a lesson on geography or environment about sources of light (fire, sun, electricity) and the importance of light over the years. Cultural celebrations arise from these basic principles, and even other elements like water and earth are celebrated, sometimes worshipped for their life-sustaining qualities – while this may be too advanced for Stage 1 learning, the teacher could encourage students to brainstorm other themes or principles that cultures celebrate traditionally like harvest, religious festivals, war-time victory, national independence, new year, etc. To this extent, students can develop the idea that people and cultures are united in building traditions around common principles and that diversity is a beautiful expression of those basic principles worldwide and should be embraced at our local level in schools and communities.

A further activity could be watching a clip of the New Year fireworks in Sydney, and how a new year is welcomed with bright colourful lights; students can also discuss or draw their personal experience of viewing fireworks.

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