Let's get to know each other better
Based on the teaching scenario of 2nd Primary School of Thrakomakedones. See Anthology (pp. 179-186)
Categories: Passages and Identities / My backpack / Being different from & and similar to others
Linguistic competence: Beginners – Advanced
Ages: 10 - 11 years old
- To get to know each other through making up personal transition stories
- Be in touch with the stories of people who have experienced their own transition
- To question and discuss about cases of transitions that can occur in a person's life in general and/or in a person's life and history
- To increase awareness of transitions marked by our or/and foreign peers and discuss examples from their own countries
- Identify "common" paths, feelings, concerns and wishes, empathise and realise multiple selves
- Through the creation of multimodal texts, to communicate and express themselves, both verbally and in writing, individually and in group
Time: 4-5 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.xxxWe divide students into small groups. In the beginning the students work individually. They are encouraged to make up a story of a transition, with the help of some questions. For example: My family is going to move to another village/town/country. What will I take with me in my backpack? How do I imagine this place? How do I imagine my new home? What would make me happy? What am I afraid that may happen to me? My new room will be... What I want to see from my window? How/where can I find new friends? How do I imagine my new school?
Before they start writing, we give them some minutes to communicate and exchange first thoughts and ideas. Then, each student creates a short story. We encourage the use of multimodal texts. For example, they can express it in an artistic way (drawings, comics, crafts etc), write it (answering the questions· in the form of a letter sent to friends left behind· an imaginary interview etc) or (if we have the needed materials) to record their voice.
xxThe students exchange their stories in the group – each of them presents to others his/her story. They discuss if they can find similarities among their stories so as to create a common "product" which includes elements of all the different stories, e.g. construct a collective backpack (putting in all the things each student has put on his/her own backpack)· a collective "box of fears" or a "box of things that make us happy".
The teacher notes on the board similarities and differences of the stories and encourages students to ask questions and express their opinion on others’ stories,including using drama theater techniques.
xIn groups or in plenary, we watch videos and / or read stories (literary or any text) related to transitions of others.
Ideas & Materials: See stories for students.
Find more ideas and materials on "Watch, listen, read, explore! Materials on passages / transitions" and on "Passages & identities in modern and contemporary art".
- We discuss all together about the stories we saw/read and find similarities/differences with the stories we have created before or with stories we have heard / transitions of our own families.
- We discuss in class about identities and the multiple selves one may have.
- 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 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, 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 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.