Cultural Diversity (CUES1): Use of Body Language for Communication
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Clifton Bieundurry - Traditional Indigenous hand signs

Nicole Visontay's insight:

Outcome: CUES1 - Communicates some common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences.

 

Subject matter (focus area): Use of body language for communication. 

 

- Student resource - 

 

This Indigenous resource is beneficial for three key reasons. It explains that traditional Indigenous hand signs from the past are still used to communicate today. It looks at the importance of ‘silent communication’ in terms of carrying out significant practices i.e. hunting and at the same time teaches students the traditional hand signs and their meaning. Soriano & Medina (2009) state that within the Indigenous culture “every part of the body is used to express and say something” (Soriano & Medina, 2009, p. 100). Due to the increased level of difficulty, it would be most beneficial for students if the resource were implemented towards the end of the school year. In terms of teaching, it is necessary for the teacher to familiarise themself with the content in the film prior to students viewing. The core activity could focus on going through and practicing each of the hand gestures featured in the clip. Practice each gesture twice. Concentrate on the meaning attached to each gesture. In terms of teacher practice, attempt to integrate the featured Indigenous hand signs into everyday classroom practice. The inclusion of this is assistive in terms of encouraging cultural awareness within the classroom (BOS, 2006, p. 45). Stevens and McDonald (2011) also state that Indigenous knowledge should be incorporated in “ways that are culturally appropriate at the same time as structuring learning experiences which provide for serious cognitive engagement with the knowledge presented” (Stevens & McDonald, 2011, p. 393). Ask students to identify ‘silent’ gestures that they personally use within the classroom to communicate with others i.e. ‘hand up’ or ‘finger on mouth to show quiet’. Emphasise to students that using silent communication is a common characteristic and trait that many people share (BOS, 2006, p. 45). Facilitated by the teacher, use the Ipad to make a class film showing all of the traditional Indigenous hand gestures and their meanings. The intent of the film is to showcase the students’ knowledge and to teach others (within the school) Indigenous forms of body communication. Use the film for a classroom assembly item or post it on the class/school blog. The ongoing practice within the classroom helps to ensure “Indigenous knowledge is not trivialized” (Stevens & McDonald, 2011, p. 392). In regards to assessment, observe the film making process to see if students have understood the key concepts. The clip is valuable as it is important for students to listen to first hand accounts regarding the lives of others (BOS, 2006, p. 44). The integration of this video ties into pedagogical research, specifically Stevens model (2005). The model states that “Language is communication which is presented in various modes: familiar and unfamiliar, literal and metaphoric, verbal and non-verbal, spoken and unspoken, scripted and unscripted. Interpretation and comprehension are culturally contextualized and experience-based” (Stevens & McDonald, 2011, p. 389). In terms of assessment, the teacher could implement the 'thumbs up-thumbs down' system. This simple exercise will reveal students understanding of concepts (traditional Indigenous hand signs) throughout the lesson. 

 

References: 

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

EnduringVoices. (2010, July 13). Clifton Bieundurry – traditional hand signs (Australia). Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLwf2b4kWKo.

 

Soriano, D. & Medina, V. (2009). The Body as Language and Expression of the Indigenous Australian Cultural Identity. Coolabah, 3, 99-108.

 

Stevens, V. & McDonald, H. (2011). Incorporating Aboriginal perspectives and Torres Strait Islander perspectives in SOSE. In S. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching society and environment 4th edition (pp. 364-382). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited. 

 

 

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Everybodys Different Different Cultures Different Customs

Nicole Visontay's insight:

Outcome: CUES1 - Communicates some common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences.

 

Subject matter (focus area): Use of body language for communication. 

 

- Student resource -

 

This student resource is highly valuable as it encourages the acceptance of difference within a school context. Even though the scenario takes place within a school, the resource itself has a global perspective. On a student level, the resource is effective as the actors are a similar age to students in ES1. Therefore, students would be more likely to replicate the positive and accepting behaviours shown by the girl, as there is a sense of relativity. Yet, from a teacher’s point of view, the clip is multifaceted in terms of its ability to be linked to and across multiple KLAs. The clip’s main feature shows a student performing a traditional and respectful Indian greeting to his mother. From a teaching perspective, this form of body communication and the dialogue that follows acts as a platform in providing multiple engaging learning opportunities for students. According to McDonald and Gilbert (2011) and their key principles of learning, this type of resource is valuable as it links the “strange, new ideas and information with the familiar, in ways that help students understand the humanity of people across time, space, cultures and societies” (McDonald & Gilbert, 2011, p. 101). After viewing, have an informal discussion with students about the ways in which they greet their family members at home. Give examples; a hug? wave? This type of activity will provide students with the opportunity to talk about practices that are carried out within their own homes (BOS, 2006, p. 45). If appropriate, this conversation can link back to the notion that all people share common characteristics but also have some differences (BOS, 2006, p. 45). Finally, as a class, jointly construct concept maps of the words ‘respect’ and ‘differences’. From a teachers perspective, this type of joint construction offers a ‘non-judgmental’ way of identifying where learning may need to be developed (McDonald & Gilbert, 2011). Using the concept maps, ask students, in their own words, to explain why it is important to respect peoples (or their classmates) differences. This classroom discussion provides the perfect opportunity for informal assessment. Dyer (2011) highlights that this is the most ideal pedagogy in terms of human rights as it “presents authentic scenarios and real life case studies that require students to critically think and respond” (Dyer, 2011, p. 373).

 

References: 

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Dyer, J. (2011). Teaching for social justice, diversity and human rights. In S. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching society and environment 4th edition (pp. 364-382). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited.

 

McDonald, H. & Gilbert, R. (2011). Planning for student learning. In S. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching society and environment 4th edition (pp. 99-120). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited.

 

NSnickjordan. (2012, March 19). Everybodys Different Different Cultures Different Customs. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65uYTF2HDQc.

 

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Kimochis... Toys With Feelings Inside®

Kimochis... Toys With Feelings Inside® | Cultural Diversity (CUES1): Use of Body Language for Communication | Scoop.it
Nicole Visontay's insight:

Outcome: CUES1 - Communicates some common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences.

 

Subject matter (focus area): Use of body language for communication. 

 

- Teacher resource - 

 

Kimochis offer teachers an avenue to explore positive non-verbal communication with students. The Kimochi program is structured around the ‘Keys to Communication’. These keys focus on helping students to use positive body language to communicate a desired feeling or emotion, particularly within a classroom setting. The “Mixed Bag of Feelings” resource is the most effect in terms of building students’ vocabularies and realising the common emotions that one might be feeling and all people share (BOS, 2006, p. 44). To achieve this, a teacher can use the plush toys as a stimulus to guide discussion or directly refer to the facial expression of each Kimochi. An introductory activity could involve the whole class sitting in a circle, the teacher gives one Kimochi (from the ‘Mixed Feeling’s Bag’) to each student. In turns, the students identify and verbalise to their peers what they understand the facial expression to mean. Particularly within ES1, it is necessary for students to participate in ‘exploratory talk’ when working in groups. This type of learning has been shown to “enhance cognitive development and develop a greater capacity among students for reflection” (Gilbert, 2011, p. 145). Later in the year, this resource could also be linked to English KLA’s. The “Mixed Bag of Feelings” could be used as a stimulus to teach the basics and foundations of character description. As a class, jointly construct a word bank of adjectives (‘describing words’). Give students a template and model how to use these words during writing and, i.e. The Kimochi is happy because he has friends (the underlined area is what students complete). From these work samples, it should be evident if students are able to recognise and grasp the basic meaning behind each facial expression. The work samples could also be used as a form of assessment. Students’ work will reveal their understanding of how facial expressions convey emotion. Work samples will also illustrate students ability to use adjectives within basic sentence writing. Whiting and Robinson (2001) state that social difficulties are often a result of school failure. For this reason, it is necessary that these types of activities and concepts are introduced from ES1. 

 

 

References:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Gilbert, R. (2011). Active and experiential learning. In S. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching society and environment 4th edition (pp. 141-156). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited.

 

Kimochi (2013). Kimochis: toys with feelings inside. Retrieved, 22 March, 2014, from http://www.kimochis.com.au/index.php?MMID=3287.

 

Whitings, P. R. & Robinson, G. L. (2001). The Interpretation of Emotion from Facial Expressions for Children with a Visual Sub-Type of Dyslexia, Australian Journal of Learning Disabilities, 6(4), 6-14. 

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Greetings around the World Large

Nicole Visontay's insight:

Outcome: CUES1 - Communicates some common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences.

 

Subject matter (focus area): Use of body language for communication. 

 

- Student resource - 

 

This digital resource was created by students at Cabramatta Public School. Even though it was created locally, it has a global perspective, as it informs students of the many greetings that are used around the world. Teachers should emphasise this point to students. Its content is appropriate for ES1 as each greeting is connected to a picture and action (body language). The combination of word, image and movement is assistive in terms of consolidating concepts. As an introductory activity, informally ask students about the type/s of greetings that they know of from around the world. As an extension (or depending on prior knowledge), ask students to consider in what countries might these greetings be used? Give students a hint, e.g. bowing in Japan. This activity will help teachers in identifying students’ prior knowledge for the next task. On an interactive or classroom whiteboard replicate the same mind map that is shown on the video (showing the greetings from around the world). For the activity, the teacher will have pre-printed visual images (non-verbal body language) that match the words ‘greetings’ on the mind map. The teacher will ask students to place the visual image next to the corresponding word on the mind map. By participating in this ‘active’ form of learning, students will be more likely to make clear distinctions between the image and word. In support of this, Gilbert (2011) states that this type of ‘active’ learning goes beyond ones “passive reception” (Gilbert, 2011, p. 143). Ask students to act out some of the greetings that they have learnt from the video or their peers. In terms of assessment, have students write one or two sentences in their classroom journal and write about their favourite type/s of greetings (shown in the film clip). Ask students to draw a picture showing the greeting (non-verbal movement). Provide scaffolding for students if necessary. 

 

References: 

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Elisabethrobertson1. (2011, July 11). Greetings around the             World Large. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxNqrtncw60.

 

Gilbert, R. (2011). Active and experiential learning. In S. Gilbert & B. Hoepper (Eds), Teaching society and environment 4th edition (pp. 141-156). South Melbourne, Australia: Cengage Learning Australia Pty Limited. 

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Saying What You Mean - A Children's Book About Communication Skills

Nicole Visontay's insight:

Outcome: CUES1 - Communicates some common characteristics that all people share, as well as some of the differences.

 

Subject matter (focus area): Use of body language for communication. 

 

- Student resource - 

 

For ES1 students, it is only necessary to watch the first four minutes of the video. This resource is suited to ES1 as the narrator explains in a simple manner how humans use a combination of their face, hands and whole body to communicate single messages and emotion. For students in ES1, it is important to understand how our bodies are used for communication. An introductory activity could focus on the concept of ‘mixed messages’. The teacher could explain to students that sometimes our body language communicates something entirely different to what we actually want to say. This is a ‘mixed message’. Have students sit in a circle. In turns, ask students to volunteer and example of how they could possibly give a ‘mixed message’. This activity will reveal if students have understood what a ‘mixed message’ is and therefore could act as a form of assessment. Here, the teacher can model an example to students, i.e. Nod head but say ‘NO’ aloud – creates confusion!  From a teacher’s perspective, this resource is valuable as it provides multiple stage appropriate examples of this concept. Additionally, the resource emphasises that within the creative arts (dance, music, writing and drama) we can also use body language to communicate meaning and as a form of creative expression. According to pedagogical research, the arts make it possible for students to express their feeling, emotions and experiences that might be difficult to verbalise (Gibson & Ewing, 2011). This notion can be linked to HSIE and Dance KLAs. As a class, look at film clips of various cultural dances. Explain that Hawaiian Hula dancers use hand motions to communicate the words of the song and Balinese dancers use their whole body (fingers, hands, eyes and head) to tell a single story. In small groups, ask students to use their new knowledge to create a 15 second dance. Within the dance, focus on using movements that communicate an emotion. Exposing students to these types of resources helps to build an understanding of cultures and important traditions both on a local scale and global scale. The similarities between the two cultural dances also show students some of the common characteristics that cultures share (BOS, 2006, p. 44).

 

References: 

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Gibson, R. & Ewing, R. (2011). Transforming the Curriculum Through the Arts. South Yarra: Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Linville, S. R. (2012, February 6). Saying What You Mean – A Children’s Book About Communication. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hnLfnulwZw. 

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