My life as a journey
Based on the teaching scenario of 1st High School of Avlonas. See Anthology (pp. 158-166)
Categories: Passages and Identities / Being different from & and similar to others
Linguistic competence: Beginners – Advanced
Ages: 12 - 18 years old
- Understand the concept of transition.
- Perceive and discuss cases of transitions that can occur in a person's life and history.
- Increase awareness on transitions observed by Greek and foreign peers and discuss examples from their own countries.
- Think about a significant transition in their lives, reflect on and compare with equivalent transitions among their peers.
- Through the creation of multimodal texts, to communicate and express themselves freely, both orally and in writing, individually and in groups.
Time: 10 hours training
Key points of activity development
Pedagogical tip: If the class works often in groups, follow the ways you already use. Otherwise, divide into groups in a playful way. Find more on "Creative ways to split into groups!" and feel free to adapt them.xWe divide students into groups. We watch a video and / or read a text (literary or any document) on transitions (preferable each country chooses visual, audio or print materials related to its own historical or present reference).
Ideas & Materials: See ideas of virtual museums, videos or texts on "Watch, listen, read, explore! Materials on passages / transitions". See how artists of contemporary art "tell" stories of transition and identities on "Passages & identities in modern and contemporary art". See stories on transitions created by pupils in the framework of BACKPACKID.
- We discuss in plenary what the concept “transition” means to the students and other possible transitions that can occur in a person’s life.
xEach group is given a different story to discuss with the help of a worksheet (pp. 164). Each group discusses the story, reflects on it and answers the questions in the worksheet.
- Each student works individually and tries to work out if there has been a transition in his or her own life, based on the relevant worksheet (Anthology pp.165). She/he then reads his/her own transition story to the other team members. They compare their own stories with the protagonist’s transition story (similarities-differences) and announce their conclusions in plenary.
- Each student draws on a cardboard an image illustrating his/her personal transition, accompanying the drawing with phrases that express him/her.
- Each student creates his or her individual Identity Card, by writing whatever they consider relevant to himself or herself. At the end of this assignment the students are divided into groups of four and read their text. They record similarities and differences on an additional sheet and present them in plenary. The teacher collects the sheets and attaches them to the board.
- The teacher asks the students to stand up and form a circle urging all those who have one of the similarities or differences recorded (e.g. those who dream of traveling a lot) to leave the circle, move to a corner of the room and pin on their chests a post-it of the same color. The teacher continues in the same way citing many similarities and differences. So the pupils move around several times creating different groups and adding to their chests a different post-it each time. The pupils discuss about their findings and conclusions (eg multiple identities, elements that differentiate us from some but unite us with others).
- Finally, a relevant (to migration/transition) song is heard. Comments are made on verses drawing the pupils’ interest and through free discussion, thoughts and feelings are expressed. The teacher writes on the board the phrase: “Our life is a journey. I will encounter obstacles when traveling. I will ...” The pupils are required to continue completing the phrase, thus creating a collective poem.
- In relevant activities where children are asked to report their experiences, personal involvement is required. Personal examples in the activity are strongly suggested.
- I accept any choices that children make about their identity, even if these may not be true.
- I use other communication languages if I have a population that does not speak the language of host country. Obviously I encourage students to write in whatever language they want.
- We seek to use modes other than language (music and images)
- I select the individual activities according to the conditions that are gradually being formed (time, emerging elements, response and children's ideas).
Connection to school lessons
- The scenario in an expanded version can be evolved into a project at School Cultural Events. In this case, the students are more systematically urged to research with the help of their family, to conduct interviews, collect oral and written material from various sources and a variety of text genres in order to present it at an event. The teacher monitors the tasks, discusses problems, supports and encourages them.
- This version uses ICT more systematically and the school is more closely linked to students' day-to-day practices in a globalized communication environment.
- If I choose to integrate the activity into a language course, I can focus on highlighting the features of multimodal speech: widespread use of other modes than language (image, music, charts, etc.), organizing information in space (and not in time, as in purely linguistic texts).
- At the same time, especially for children on the move, I can integrate the activity into teaching the host language by asking simple questions and using simple vocabulary.
xI can integrate the activity into the Geography lesson by approaching the concept of geographic transition. Likewise, I can integrate activity into the History lesson by linking demographic change and historical events, promoting historical critical thinking (linking the present with the past) or Social and Political Education by highlighting human rights.
What do I gain?
The participants of Backpack ID talk about their experience: Why is this project so special? What it meant to them and totheir pupils? Why you should use this material? What have they and their pupils learned? What works? etc. Watch their videos.