Teaching HSIE to Primary School Students
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Teaching HSIE to Primary School Students
This Scoop.it aims to find appropriate websites to teach Stage 3 primary school students about the cultures, traditions and belief systems within Australian Society. CUS3.3, CUS3.4 Traditions, belief systems and practices of Australia as compared with those of at least one other nation in the Asia-Pacific. It aims to incorporate an Indigenous and Global perspective whilst still being relevant to all Australian students. It aims to evaluate and critique each website, showing its effectiveness to primary school teachers.
Curated by Beth Wigoder
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Beth Wigoder's comment, April 21, 2013 6:37 AM
This website contains information about Australia’s religious history and current religious demographics. While it is too dense for students to use as a resource, it is very useful for teachers to unpack and use as a teaching tool. A large part of the “traditions, belief systems and practices” observed by Australians are born out of religious beliefs and as such it is fundamental that students have an understanding of Australia’s religious landscape.

Teaching Idea: As a class, students discuss major religious events in Australian history. Concluding the discussion, students are required to order laminated cards onto a large timeline on the wall of the classroom. Students take turns to come up and decide when the event occurred. In small groups students are assigned a religion and are required to research the basics of the traditions and belief systems of that religion and its manifestation within Australia. Each group is given an area of the classroom wall and is required to create an aesthetically appealing information board on their religion, including at least one graph or chart.

Assessment Task: Teacher assesses students based on the information displayed on their boards as well as student understanding of where major events are placed on the religious timeline. If the teacher feels like assessing the boards as a whole has given him/her an unsatisfactory reading of the understanding of individual students, the teacher should ask students to explain to him/her the different features of the board in their own words.

Numeracy Strategy: As students are required to place events on a timeline, this fosters awareness of the concept of time and an understanding of timelines, which may assist students in high school with use of number lines. On the website, there are many statistics given and requiring students to provide a chart or graph on their information board requires them to correlate those statistics and transform them into a graph format.

Pedagogical Research: Providing children with their own space within the classroom and allowing them to create their own “information wall” gives room for self expression and creativity. Existentialism is a philosophy which is based upon the understanding that each individual’s experiences are internal and subjective. It is a worldview that holds that individuals are able to make life meaningful for themselves by making authentic and independent choices and assuming responsibility. Allowing students to have their own space in the classroom, through which other students learn, gives them this sense of ownership and responsibility that is so valued in existentialism.
Gary Hunter (1993): Existentialism: Practical Classroom Applications, The Educational Forum, 57:2, 191-196
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Dust Echoes: Ancient Stories, New Voices

Dust Echoes: Ancient Stories, New Voices | Teaching HSIE to Primary School Students | Scoop.it
Ancient Stories, New Voices. Dust Echoes is a series of twelve animated dreamtime stories from Central Arnhem Land in Northern Australia
Beth Wigoder's comment, April 21, 2013 6:03 AM
Dust Echoes is a collection of short Aboriginal dream time stories collected from the Wugullar community in West Arnhem Land. The stories were recorded as audio tracks and then transformed into short animated movies which can be viewed on the website. According to information on the website, it aims to “educate and entertain young people in order to instil a respect and thirst for the wealth of indigenous culture and stories on our doorstep.” Each story contains its own study guide, glossary, and option to create a “mash-up,” a one minute student-made depiction of the story. This website largely encompasses the traditions and belief systems of Indigenous Australians which ultimately forms an important component of Australian society as a whole.

Teaching Idea: Dream time stories are a key feature of Aboriginal “belief systems” and from these stories are born many Indigenous traditions. The teacher should allow the students to explore this interactive student-friendly website and create their own “mash-up” of a dreamtime story of their own choosing. Having gained familiarity with one of the dream time stories featured on the site, the students should individually compose their own interpretation of the story with illustrations. Students should then complete further research, in small groups, to examine how their assigned dream time story affect Aboriginal traditions and customs. What ceremonies came out of that story? How do different clans interpret the story differently? The teacher should guide student research with books and the internet.

Assessment Task: Student should present their findings through a dramatic recreation of their chosen dream time story. Each student is required to participate whether they are narrating or acting as one of the animals or characters in the story. Following their dramatic representation they should briefly explain which traditions derived from this stories and how they are different in varying parts of Australia. In this way, the teacher assesses knowledge and understanding of the story as well as its connection to Aboriginal practice and beliefs.

Literacy Strategy: Students are required to unpack the dreamtime story as they have understood it and adapt it into a dramatic representation. This encourages them to utilise several important literacy skills including analysing, interpreting and evaluating. The writing of a script is an important text type students will need in high school and as such this too is useful.

Pedagogical Link: Despite the competitive nature of human beings, it has been discovered that one of the most effective forms of learning is that of learning with others. Brown (2009) believes that just as a teacher must model strategies for a class, it is important for class members to interact with each other in order to improve cognitive functions. Topping and Ehly (1998) argue that this higher academic achievement that comes from group work derives from the higher level of reasoning and frequent generation of new ideas and solutions that come from working in a group situation. Along with new ideas, the utilization of a group setting in cooperative learning stimulates further innovation in thought, henceforth creating higher quality, innovative answers. In a social, interpersonal sense, all students, whether high or low ability, benefit greatly from this technique, since higher ability students become more understanding of lower ability students. As such, putting students into groups to create their dramatic representation encourages further idea building.

Brown, R. (2009) Engaging in collaborative activity when the teacher isn’t there: Who regulates the learning? Australian Journal Of Middle Schooling, 9, 12–18.
Topping, K. J., & Ehly, S. W. (1998).Peer-assisted learning. Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates
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Multiculturalism - EmbraceAustralia.com

Multiculturalism - EmbraceAustralia.com | Teaching HSIE to Primary School Students | Scoop.it
Multiculturalism - EmbraceAustralia.com
Beth Wigoder's comment, April 21, 2013 4:12 AM
This website gives a clear understanding of Australia’s multicultural society and its origins. It explains why people came to Australia in the past, why they come today and gives interesting statistics on the cultural composition of Australians past and present. The site is fairly text based and informative and as such I have also chosen to include a wide variety of resources which require student interaction and visual literacy. Due to the fairly straightforward nature of the material on the site, a related class activity should be engaging and creative to encourage students to use alternate ways of thinking.

Teaching Idea: Students are placed in groups and are assigned a country from which a mass immigration took place (to Australia) in previous centuries. Examples of this include: Italy post WWII, China during the gold rush, Vietnam in the 1970’s and England prior to WWI. Students are required to research why immigrants flocked to Australia from these countries and what life was like for them when they arrived in Australia. Each group will then be required to present to the class a short presentation explaining what life for these immigrants before and after their immigration. These presentations should have the requirement of being creative in some way, whether that be role play, costumes or food tasting from cuisine in the immigrants home country. It is imperative that within the presentation the group explores how that particular culture has influenced Australian society today.

Assessment task: The teacher could assess this task through the students’ presentations by observing if they had gained an understanding of the culture and its influence in our society today. Concurrently, each student could be required to produce a paragraph summary of their group research findings iterating a brief summary of the immigrant’s culture and its impact on Australian society as a whole.

Literacy/Numeracy Strategy: The above assessment strategy mentioned requires students to use advanced literary skills of summarising and evaluating and thus the lesson links strongly with the KLA of literacy.

Link to Pedagogical Research: Anderson’s revised taxonomy believes that the highest three levels of thinking are analysing, evaluating and creating. In the above task, students are required to use these ways of thinking to complete the assessable task. While the reading material on the website is fairly straight forward, the requirement on the students to mould and adapt the information through creative means, embraces Anderson’s taxonomy which appeals to teachers to allow students to connect to higher order thinking.
Tania Gammage's curator insight, September 4, 2013 9:09 AM

A great resource for HSIE

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Diversity Diaries - Identity, culture, creativity & change

Diversity Diaries - Identity, culture, creativity & change | Teaching HSIE to Primary School Students | Scoop.it
Diversity Diaries is a blog by Australian journalist Katrina Yu about identity, culture, creativity and change. The blog particularly explores multiculturalism, cross-cultural experiences and aims to challenge stereotypes through story-telling.
Beth Wigoder's comment, April 21, 2013 6:28 AM
Global Perspectives

The Diversity Diaries is the blog of young Australian journalist, Katrina Yu. Born in Bahrain to Filipino-Chinese parents, Katrina migrated to Australia at the start of high school. Having studied journalism and international relations both in Sydney and London, she now works for SBS and also curates her own blog. The blog focuses on stories of diversity and multiculturalism in Australia. At the time of submission, the top story on the blog exposes the life of a young Vietnamese girl from Cabramatta and the difficulties and successes of adjusting to life in Australia as a migrant. The stories range from ones such as this to the ushering in of the Year of the Snake and migrants from African countries discussing their painful experiences in their before immigration. This webpage incorporates a global perspective as it allows students to consider that Australia is not a strictly Anglo-Saxon society but rather composed of a variety of cultures and identities. Miss Yu tells the stories of these people and their cultures and the ways in which they have integrated their traditions, belief systems and practices within an Australia context.

Teaching Idea: Students should read the blog or watch a video from it and consider the power of storytelling when aiming to educate people about one’s culture, beliefs and practices. Having read a story together and discussed this concept as a class, the teacher should organise for a migrant or refugee from the Asia-Pacific region to come and talk to the class about their experiences. They could discuss their experiences in their home country, how they have fused the identity of their past with a new Australian identity and what it means to them to be Australia. What old customs have they kept and what new ones have they incorporated in their lifestyle? Prior to the speaker coming to the class, the students should prepare questions to ask them and subsequently they should write a page giving their understanding of the migrant experience to Australia.

Assessment Task: Students should make a table with two sides: one listing the traditions, belief systems and practices of the country from which the immigrant came and the other listing how these had changed in an Australian context. The teacher should also assess students listening skills and understanding of the traditions and belief systems of the individual based on their page of response to the listening task.

Literacy Strategy: This teaching idea incorporates the literacy skill of listening which is one that is often left to the side in classrooms to focus on reading and writing. Having listened to the story of the migrant, the students must take what they have heard and combine it with their own thoughts and beliefs on the issue to create a written piece.

Pedagogical Research: Storytelling has long been an important feature of infant’s classrooms however it can be adapted to the senior levels of primary schools by inviting guest speakers in to relate their experiences and cultural knowledge. A study at Saint Louis University set out to identify perceptions of storytelling as an educational tool by teachers who use it. The study was done on teachers from students of all primary school ages. It found that students were very engaged in the storytelling process and follow-up activities. It encouraged them to be motivated and actively involved in the classroom. It was also found that using this technique helped students retain the information taught to them. Based on this research, having a guest speaker brought into the classroom to tell their story seems like a pedagogically sound choice to involve students in the curriculum and encourage them appropriately.

Clark, RW. (2000). Teachers as storytellers (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy2.library.usyd.edu.au/docview/304625386/abstract
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Latest People & Culture - Australian Geographic

Latest People & Culture - Australian Geographic | Teaching HSIE to Primary School Students | Scoop.it
The Australian Geographic Society is dedicated to supporting scientific research, protecting and fostering a love for our environment and natural heritage, encouraging the spirit of discovery and adventure and spreading knowledge of Australia to...
Beth Wigoder's comment, April 21, 2013 5:30 AM
National Geographic has a reputation for being a fascinating and reliable source of education for people of all ages wanting to learn about the world around them. National Geographic provides information on subject matter as diverse as deep sea diving, uncontacted civilisations and ancient peoples and cultures.
This particular webpage is an Australian based faction of National Geographic and is focused on “Latest peoples and cultures.” It contains a variety of articles which detail current cultural issues occurring in Australia with stimulating written and visual material. This website focuses on the “practices” and “traditions” element as mentioned in the outcome. Articles include topics such as Beach, Bush and Battlers: Iconic Aussie Images, Mowanjum: Australia’s Largest Corroboree and Ned Kelly farewelled by Family.

Teaching Idea: Students should individually choose to read two-three articles which are of personal interest to them. They should consider and write down the themes of the article and reflect on its structure, text type and the accompanying images. Students should then each write their own article for a class “National Geographic” style website. Each student should choose a topic of personal interest to them, relating to a practice or tradition within Australian culture, and guided by the teacher they should compose an article based on that. Student should be encouraged to use visual literacy skills and find appropriate images to accompany their text or even take their own photographs if possible.

Assessment Task: The teacher assesses the student based on their choice of writing material and images: have they chosen an appropriate topic? Have they written about something which accurately reflects a tradition or practice within Australian culture? Have they chosen an appropriate accompanying image? Not only is students understanding of HSIE outcomes and subject matter being addressed but also their literacy skills in that they are required to write in a particular text type. In addition to reading the students written work, the teacher could engage the student in a conversation as to why they chose that particular topic and how they think it reflects a tradition or practice within Australian society.

Literacy/Numeracy Strategy: As mentioned above, students are required to write in the sophisticated text type of a newspaper article, which links strongly to a literacy KLA. While numeracy is not addressed in a direct manner, students are required to use ICT skills to contribute their article to the class website which may by default require literacy and numeracy strategies.

Link to Pedagogical Research: Winch (2010) defines visual literacy as “the ability to analyse the power of the image and the how of its meaning in its particular context.” This activity prompts students to consider the images in relation to the written text of the article, thus forming an understanding of the skills needed in visual literacy (New South Wales Board of Studies, 2007, p 9).
Visual literacy is an imperative skill for students of the 21st century. While in the past, learners may have been able to cope without an understanding of the correlation between images and words, particularly in relation to newspaper articles, they no longer can, as news is so easily accessible and wide reaching on the internet. This activity encourages students to consider the relationship between the written and the visual, and as Winch suggests, its meaning within the context.

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