20 June 2012

Our New Central Idea

Yesterday we started off our new unit by looking at our new central idea to uncover what we are going to learn about:

Family histories provide an insight into cultural and personal identity.

Students brainstormed around the statement recording what they thought the words meant or any comments on what they thought the unit was about. Some interesting words began to emerge: relate, heritage, generation, as well as some questions: What is culture? Is personal private? What is an insight? 

Then I wrote the word history on the board and asked the students to tell me what came into their heads when they saw the word. Here are some of the responses:

I think of the Romans, as that's something I really like.
I remember history lessons in my last school and I enjoyed them a lot.
It can be about how people lived or the clothes they wore.
Things change over time. You have a smart board now, but in the past it was chalk board.
There's the word 'story' in there.
It's about stories or things that happened.
It can be 'small' like things that happen to you, or big things that happen to a country.
Generations pass down stories.
The French word 'histoire' means story.
A mother can tell her child a story who then tells their child and so on. That way the story carries on.
Things that happened in the past like the Titanic.
I can see 'his story' in the word. ( I asked can it be 'her' story too!)
I could be God's story above.
Stories can be things that happened to you and others.
We had an interesting question: Is history what has just happened or only a long time ago?

So to help the students get started I told a family story connected to the ring my Gran gave me to wear on my wedding day. This had been a gift from her husband originally to celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary. I wore this on my wedding day as she wasn't able to be there. We looked at how it was made, its value, its function and ideas for its purpose before I shared the story. I explained how this ring represented the celebrations that are important in my culture as well as saying something about my personal history. Our next task is to unpack the key words and concepts connected to our unit.

We are also reading a selection of family themed stories to accompany this unit. Here are the some pictures of the student 'caught' reading.

If you have any suggestions for great family themed books please let me know. As the students read I am asking them to think about:
  • What's the main story line?
  • What family connections are being written about in the story?
  • What connections do you make to the text? Are there any parts of the story which remind you of something that’s happened to you or your family?
Yesterday was a big organisation day with students selecting samples for their portfolios. Each student  chose two pieces and described what it showed they had learned and enjoyed in 'Sharing the Planet'. Mr. V and I have also selected pieces that show the process of learning. Next week the completed portfolios will come home for the summer for you to reflect on your child's progress together.