Comparing identities and identifying otherness
Based on the teaching scenario of Experimental Junior High-School of University of Crete, Rethymno. See Anthology (pp. 187-190)
Categories: Passages and Identities / Being different from & and similar to others / Roots, Family & Community Bonds
Linguistic competence: Beginners – Advanced
Ages: 12 - 18 years old
- To recognize the term transition (from village to city, from one area/country to another, from living alone or with your family to married life etc.)
- To learn how to collect and narrate personal and family stories
- To compare my stories with the stories of others
- To recognize similarities among people and their stories
- To discover the "other"
- To express opinions
Time: 6 teaching hours
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 small groups. We watch videos and / or read transcripts (literary or any item or artwork) related to transitions or identities (each group is given a different story).
Ideas & Materials: For photographs find more on "Create, find out, be informed, travel! Useful multimodal resources" - Photogalleries.
See stories on transitions, created by students in the framework of BACKPACK.
See stories about migration on "Watch, listen, read, explore! Materials on passages / transitions"
xEach student works individually and considers a transition that has occured in his/her own life or has heard from his/her family or close friends (of any kind, eg. change of school, a house move, a resettlement to other country because of job or marriage etc). The students are invited to write a short text telling the story in any creative way (e.g. the story can be told by an object that is involved, in first person, in the form of a letter or an interview etc).
xEach student presents to others his/her story of transition. The rest can note 2-3 words that in their opinion represent each story. After all stories are presented, the students of each group create a collective puzzle of words or/and a collective work of art (a comic, a collage, a drawing, a song etc) that depicts a story of transition (they can select one of the stories told or combine some of them in one story).
Ideas & Materials: See how artists of contemporary art "tell" stories of transition and identities on "Passages & identities in modern and contemporary art"
Tools & ideas to create works of art on "Paint & draw, cut & paste, solve quizzes!"
- Each group presents in plenary the collective artwork. Then they try to find similarities or differences among their stories (considering the “protagonists”, the situations, the feelings felt etc).
xThe students are invited to take an interview from a family member / friend that has experienced a transition and record it in the way they choose. Based on this transition story the students are invited to write an article for a newspaper / blog. They can also present it to their classmates in the form of "Living Library".
Pedagogical tip: You can also organise an event, inviting parents-members of the family to participate in a "Living Library", strengething thus the relation and communication among school and parents.
- In relevant activities where children are asked to report their experiences, personal involvement is required. Personal examples are strongly suggested.
- I accept any choices 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 the host country. Obviously I encourage students to write in whatever language they want.
- We seek to use media 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 developed into a project, either in the course of Research Projects (Greek curriculum) or in courses such as Fine Arts, Music, Literature, Social & Political Education or Language, as an extracurricular cultural program. In this case, students are more systematically urged to research, to conduct interviews, receive oral and written material from various sources and a variety of text genres in order to present it at an event. The teacher monitors 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 language of my host country 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 the activity into the course of History or the Social Sciences, by linking demographic change and historical events, promoting historical critical thinking (linking the present with the past).
What do I gain?
The participants of Backpack ID talk about their experience: Why this project is so special? What it meant to them /their pupils? Why you should use this material? What have they and their pupils learned? What works? etc. Watch their videos.