A4@M0 – COVID-19 SOCIAL DISTANCE

Aim

  • To reflect on the way children’s personal beliefs affect their behavior
  • To understand better the new social distancing and to adapt their habits to the new rules

On completion of this activity, children will be able:

  • to appreciate that all public institutions should respect, protect and implement human rights
  • to appreciate that all citizens should be treated equally and impartially under the law
  • to accept responsibility for their actions
  • to adapt to new situations by applying their knowledge in a different way
  • to reflect critically on their values and beliefs

Source of the activity

Contributed by Vasilka Kolovska (Free-to-speak-safe-to-learn)

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Valuing human dignity and human rights
  • Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
  • Responsibility
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self

Overview

Materials

  • Resources for teaching controversial issues:
    • The Council of Europe fact sheet on “Teaching controversial issues”5
    • The Council of Europe publication6
  • Videos about Handshake Alternatives and Covid-19 Etiquette7
  • Social Distancing flyer8
  • Tools for on-line surveys9

Step-by-step instructions

  • Show a short video about Handshake Alternatives. The video should explain that social distancing includes eliminating the physical contact that occurs with the typical handshake, hug or kisses.
  • Ask the children to discuss their methods of greetings and whether they are familiar with the new forms of greetings behaviour from the video. The following question may be used to stimulate their reflections:
    • How do you greet your friends and classmates?
    • How do you greet your relatives?
    • Are these new greeting methods appropriate for adults?
    • Is it easy to change your lifelong habits for a week?
  • Children give their own answers to these questions. For an online class, they can use the chat box section for their responses; for a classroom activity, they can use group discussion.
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, many institutions have issued videos, flyers and posters devoted to the crisis. Wearing masks, keeping social distance and avoiding travel are controversial issues which arouse strong feelings and divide opinion in communities and society. Show children an image of a Social Distancing flyer.
  • Ask children to give their definition of social distancing. If the lesson is in online mode, use the tool AnswerGarden, which allows the participants to see the entries immediately.
  • Organize a simple group survey with the children about their opinions of some of the restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic. For example:
    • Are they maintaining a distance of 2 metres (two arms’ length) between them and others?
    • Are they using a protection mask all the time when they are outside their homes?
    • Are they shopping in small local shops or big supermarkets?
    • Are they visiting cinemas/theatres/malls?
    • Are they making non-essential trips?
    • Are they visiting their elderly relatives?
    • Do they celebrate birthdays with friends?
    • Is friendship more important than social distance?
  • After the survey, explore with the children the results and discuss the outcomes.
  • Divide the children into groups of 5 for acting out a role play:
    • Each group has to have one reporter (who will ask questions to the others), medical worker, police officer, shop cashier, and prime minister (all front-line jobs in the fight against Covid-19).
    • The reporter asks each member of the group the questions from step 6. In addition, they can add more questions, for example:
      • How do the people from the front-line of the fight against Covid-19 feel about the behavior of the population?
      • Are they worried about the health of their families?
      • What advice would they like to give to young people and adults?
  • Each group presents their work to the whole class, briefly explaining their feelings about changing perspectives. They should also summarise the ideas that emerge.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • Ask the children to comment on and discuss the process of the activity. They should also be asked to reflect critically on what they have learnt from the activity, using the following questions:
    • How do you feel about the story? Have you learned any new methods for Covid-19 Etiquette and Social Distance?
    • Did you find it difficult to change your habits just for a short period of time?
    • Did you learn something new about Covid-19? If so, what did you learn?
    • What have you learned about the professionals from the front-line as a result of doing this activity?


5 https://rm.coe.int/CoERMPublicCommonSearchServices/DisplayDCTMContent?documentId=09000016806cc3f5

6 https://theewc.org/resources/living-with-controversy-teaching-controversial-issues-through-education-for-democratic-citizenship-and-human-rights-edc-hre/

7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umEskepeRwc or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_mBoOVZQ2I

8 https://www.covidoumedicine.com/documents/content/practice-social-distancing.pdf

9 https://www.google.com/forms/about/ or https://www.surveymonkey.com

A3@M0 – RULES KEEP US AWAY FROM COVID-19!

Aim

  • To make children’s voices heard
  • To improve well-being at school
  • To identify and evaluate rules which children themselves find meaningful in order to keep themselves, their peers, families and communities safe from the virus

On completion of this activity, children will be able:

  • to reflect on the impact of the coronavirus upon human health
  • to identify some rules that should be respected in the school and in the community
  • to engage in critical thinking
  • to engage in responsible behaviour
  • to co-operate and collaborate with others

Source of the activity

Contributed by Cornelia Melcu (Free-to-speak-safe-to-learn)

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Self-efficacy
  • Civic-mindedness
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Co-operation skills
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

Children produce a poster concerning the appropriate behaviours that can help to prevent the spread of Covid-19 both inside and outside the school

Materials

  • Videos about Covid-191
  • An online voting tool2; the teacher can prepare the poll in advance for each group
  • A poster creator tool3. Alternatively, if the children cannot use web tools for creating posters, a common online blackboard or wall may be used instead4

Step-by-step instructions

  • Show a short video about Covid-19 in the children’s own language, which explains how it affects human health and how it spreads in the community. Make sure that the video is from an official or authoritative source.
  • Divide the children into groups of 5, and ask them to:
    • identify 3 ways that Covid-19 spreads between people in human groups;
    • identify 3 rules that should be respected in the school and the community, and discuss and explain why these are good rules – encourage the children to identify rules saying what could or should be done to help the situation (rather than rules saying what should not be done), and ask them to focus on the most effective measures that they think they can take in order to protect other people from catching the virus.
  • Each group presents their work to the whole class, briefly explaining their choices. Summarise the ideas that emerge.
  • Children decide, from among all the rules that have been identified, 5 rules that should be respected by all of the children in order to stay safe from Covid-19. Each group can be asked to vote for the 5 best rules in their opinion, and to explain their choices, using an online voting tool.
  • Each group designs a poster using an online tool. Alternatively, if the children cannot use a web tool for creating a poster, they may use a common online blackboard or wall to draw one.
  • Display the posters from all of the groups on a common online wall (when the children come back to school, the posters can be printed out and hung on their classroom wall).
  • Summarise the children’s ideas of how important it is to keep the rules of hygiene and to be responsible in order to keep other people and the community safe and healthy.
  • To underline that rules can sometimes change over time, the children can be asked at a later point in time to re-evaluate and possibly adapt the rules that they have identified.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • Ask the children to comment on and discuss the learning process and the rules that they have chosen. Ensure that they reflect critically on the rules, and think about whether some are better or more important than others. The possibilities here will vary depending on whether they are children in primary or secondary education.
  • Hold a debriefing session based on some of the following questions:
    • What kind of experience was it for you to identify the rules to be followed in order to avoid Covid-19 spreading? For example, was it easy or difficult? What sorts of things did you think about when you were deciding which rules to choose?
    • Has anything changed in your thinking after you found out which rules your friends had produced during this activity?
    • What have you learned about yourself as a result of doing this activity?
    • What have you learned about the world as a result of doing this activity?


1 https://youtu.be/MVvVTDhGqaA

2 https://www.mentimeter.com

3 https://www.canva.com

4 https://jamboard.google.com or https://padlet.com

A2@M0 – CHILDREN’S ASSEMBLY

Aim

  • To engage in democratic electivion process

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Co-operation skills
  • Respect
  • Civic-mindedness
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

Children participate to an assembly to elect two representatives (a boy and a girl) for each KC, and to find some “official” reporters (whose role is to report all the activities of the curriculum and that will be presented during the public event that will take place in spring)

Materials

None

Step-by-step instructions

  • Suggest to children the idea that they will have to choose some of them (a boy and a girl) who will have to represent them during the public event and the meetings with the local authorities. Children need to be encouraged to apply as representatives
  • Conduct democratic elections
  • Ask for some official reporters of the activities whose task is to take care of the photographic documentation of the activities foreseen by the curriculum and which will be presented during the public event

Debriefing and Evaluation

Debrief the activity with “The Telegraph”.

A1@M0 – INITIAL PLENARY MEETING WITH KC CHILDREN

Aim

  • To inform children about the whole learning process

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Respect
  • Civic-mindedness
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Skills of listening and observing
  • Linguistic, communicative and plurilingual skills
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

Children participate to a meeting in which you present Module 0 of the CVS Curriculum and share with them its basic ideas

Materials

  • A poem related to COVD-19

Step-by-step instructions

  • Read a poem with them on the topics of the curriculum (an example is reported below)
  • Start with a brainstorming focusing on
    • the opinion that children have about the way adults listen to their opinions and world views,
    • children’s perception of the school.

    Summarize their answers in a framework visible to all.

  • Explain Module 0
  • Ask for their opinion on the activity in which they will be involved in the next months

Debriefing and Evaluation

Debrief the activity with “The Telegraph”.

Example of poem

Che cos’è che in aria vola?

Che cos’è che in aria vola?

Che cos’è che in aria vola?
Che cos’è che in aria vola?
C’è qualcosa che non so?
Come mai non si va a scuola?
Ora ne parliamo un po’.
Virus porta la corona,
ma di certo non è un Re,
e nemmeno una persona:
ma allora, che cos’è?
È un tipaccio piccolino,
così piccolo che proprio,
per vederlo da vicino,
devi avere il microscopio.
È un tipetto velenoso,
che mai fermo se ne sta:
invadente e dispettoso,
vuol andarsene qua e là.
È invisibile e leggero
e, pericolosamente,
microscopico guerriero,
vuole entrare nella gente.
Ma la gente siamo noi,
io, te, e tutte le persone:
ma io posso, e anche tu puoi,
lasciar fuori quel briccone.
Se ti scappa uno starnuto,
starnutisci nel tuo braccio:
stoppa il volo di quel bruto:
tu lo fai, e anch’io lo faccio.
Quando esci, appena torni,
va’ a lavare le tue mani:
ogni volta, tutti i giorni,
non solo oggi, anche domani.
Lava con acqua e sapone,
lava a lungo, e con cura,
e così, se c’è, il birbone
va giù con la sciacquatura.
Non toccare, con le dita,
la tua bocca, il naso, gli occhi:
non che sia cosa proibita,
però è meglio che non tocchi.
Quando incontri della gente,
rimanete un po’ lontani:
si può stare allegramente
senza stringersi le mani.
Baci e abbracci? Non li dare:
finché è in giro quel tipaccio,
prudente rimandare
ogni bacio e ogni abbraccio.
C’è qualcuno mascherato,
ma non è per Carnevale,
e non è un bandito armato
che ti vuol fare del male.
È una maschera gentile
per filtrare il suo respiro:
perché quel tipaccio vile
se ne vada meno in giro.
E fin quando quel tipaccio
se ne va, dannoso, in giro,
caro amico, sai che faccio?
io in casa mi ritiro.
un’idea straordinaria,
dato che è chiusa la scuola,
fino a che, fuori, nell’ aria,
quel tipaccio gira e vola.
E gli amici, e i parenti?
Anche in casa, stando fermo,
tu li vedi e li senti:
state insieme sullo schermo.
chi si vuole bene, può
mantenere una distanza:
baci e abbracci adesso no,
ma parole in abbondanza.
Le parole sono doni,
sono semi da mandare,
perché sono semi buoni,
a chi noi vogliamo amare.
Io, tu, e tutta la gente,
con prudenza e attenzione,
batteremo certamente
l’antipatico birbone.
E magari, quando avremo
superato questa prova,
tutti insieme impareremo
una vita saggia e nuova.
Roberto Piumini

A3@M2 CVS ACTIVITY #6 – LETTERS TO THE NEXT GENERATION

Aim

  • To make children evaluate the Curriculum they were involved in
  • To write down what they have learned and what they think they can use in their life

Source of the activity

Contributed by Ildikó Lázár (TASKs for democracy)

Type of activity

Discussion, writing, peer reading

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Openness to cultural otherness
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Empathy
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self

Overview

Children review their experiences and write a letter to the next generation of students

Materials

  • A blank A4 sheet for each pair of participants
  • Pictures or cards cut into two for pairing

Group size

Work in pairs

Time needed

45 minutes

Preparation

  • Think about the evaluation criteria you would like your participants to keep in mind as they write their letters

Step-by-step instructions

  • Explain why it is important to review what has been done and discussed in the previous activities or sessions. Tell children that their evaluation will take the form of a letter to the next set of participants.
  • Children form pairs or you pair them up randomly with pictures or cards with expressions on them cut into two. The two halves have to find each other in order to form a whole and complement each other. If you have an odd number of children, it is better to have a group of three rather than to have someone work alone.
  • You may provide a few ideas on what to write about and how to organize the writing into a letter. Project the relevant bullet points or write them on the board. For example:
    • aims of the activity/session/course
    • atmosphere
    • content
    • understanding of terminology
    • activities and assignments
    • timing and pacing
    • achieved learning outcomes
    • Children’s evaluation of their own progress, effort and commitment
    • Children’s plans for using the knowledge, skills and attitudes that have been developed
    • Children’s plans for using concrete activities or materials
    • problems, risks, dangers
    • general advice for future children
  • Children discuss their ideas in pairs and write their letters together to the next set of children so that they know what to expect.
  • When the time is up, the letters are passed around. If possible, everybody reads everybody else’s letters.
  • Everybody should take notes to be able to quote one or two interesting points from some of the letters.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • A discussion follows with questions for clarification, and suggestions for action and/or improvement based on the bullet points on the board and the quotes you and children want to read out from some of the letters.
  • Make your criteria for evaluating their comments very clear and explicit.
  • Letters should be pinned to a board for future children to read and later they can actually be used as an introductory activity with the next group of children.

Tips for the teacher

  • Warn children that they can use their sense of humour but they should write letters that truly reflect their evaluation of the session and of their own learning.
  • In addition, perhaps it is useful to remind them that this should not turn into a round of compliments but into the kind of letter we all expect to receive from a critical but supportive friend or colleague.

A3@M2 CVS ACTIVITY #5 – ADVERTISING CHILDREN’S VOICES

Let’s tell the world about our town!

Aim

  • To develop critical thinking skills about advertising and the media
  • To practice creativity and communications skills
  • To develop ideas on how to promote children’s human rights
  • To deepen understanding about human rights

Source of the activity

Derived from “COMPASITO”

Type of activity

Storytelling, drawing, writing

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Openness to cultural otherness
  • Self-efficacy
  • Civic mindedness
  • Autonomous learning skills
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Skills of listening and observing
  • Linguistic, communicative and plurilingual skills
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of language and communication
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

Children develop a TV advertisement for children’s intervention of regeneration intervention in the town/district

Materials

  • Paper and art supplies

Group size

1 class

Time needed

120-180 minutes

Preparation

  • If possible, arrange video equipment to record the advertisements

Step-by-step instructions

  • Divide children into groups of three or four. Explain that their group has been asked to advertise their intervention of regeneration at school. They will make an advertisement for television that lasts from one to three minutes that makes people aware of and/or understand that work.
  • Ask children to describe some advertisements on TV that have caught their attention. Brainstorm features of good advertisements (e.g. clever phrases, sound effects, music, humour, serious message).
  • Discuss the audience for their advertisement. Is it aimed at children, parents, teachers, the general public or all of these? Discuss ways in which the advertisement can be made attractive to their chosen audience.
  • Explain that each group should choose an aspect of the intervention they want to advertise and the audience(s) they want to address. Ask someone from each group to report their right to you, and what audience they have decided upon.
  • Once groups have chosen the work, they should develop an idea to advertise it. Encourage them to consider many different ways to present the work (e.g. a story that they act out, a song they sing, a cartoon for which they draw the storyboard). Remind them that this will be a video for TV so it should be visually interesting and have action, not just ‘talking heads’. It should not be too complex to be presented in less than three minutes.
  • Circulate among the groups to monitor their progress. Once a group has completed its advertisement, ask them to give it a title and begin to practice.
  • When all the groups have planned their advertisements, bring the whole group together to share their ideas and get feedback from others. Ask each group to explain their work, their audience, and their ideas. If they are ready, they may try to perform it as well. After each description or performance, encourage constructive suggestions and feedback, asking questions such as:
    • Will this idea appeal to the chosen audience?
    • Will it get the idea of the work across clearly?
    • Do you like about these ideas?
    • Can you offer any suggestions for improvement?
  • Give the groups time to improve and practice their advertisements.
  • Ask each group to present their advertisement and plans to each other.

Debriefing and Evaluation

  • Debrief the activity, asking questions such as:
    • Were any parts of this activity especially challenging? Especially fun?
    • Did you learn something about how advertisements are made?
    • Was it hard to think in images rather than just words?
    • Was it hard to think about how to reach a particular audience?
    • Are advertisements always positive? Why or why not?
    • What did you learn from the other storyboards?
    • Will this activity change the way you look at TV?
  • Relate the activity to human rights, asking questions such as:
    • Why did your group choose that particular aspect of the activity?
    • Why did your group choose that particular aspect of the activity?
    • What kind of reaction or action do you think your advertisement would produce?
    • Is a TV advertisement a good way to send people a message about your regeneration activity? Why or why not?
    • Did your advertisement involve other issues besides the one you focused on?
    • Who needs education about children’s human rights?

Tips for the teacher

  • This is a complex activity that may challenge children to use new skills (e.g. writing dialogue or songs, developing a story board). The teacher needs to monitor the children’s progress carefully, helping them keep on track.
  • Some groups will move faster through the process than other. If a group has completed one task, give them instructions individually for the next step. Give them plenty to time to practice and to revise after feedback.
  • Use the activity to encourage critical thinking about advertising and its purposes.
  • Use the activity to practice giving and receiving constructive criticism.

A3@M2 CVS ACTIVITY #4 – AT HOME IN EUROPE – Lesson 2

I am at home in Europe

Aim

  • To develop a feeling for distance
  • To respect each other
  • To become aware of all the different characteristics of Europe as a continent
  • To grasp the concept of spatial relationships by seeing where they come from
  • To understand that Europe has a variety of characteristics
  • To reflect upon the fact that Europeans have some things in common but are also very different from each other

Source of the activity

Derived from “Growing up in democracy”

Type of activity

Pair and group work

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Civic mindedness
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Tolerance of ambiguity
  • Skills of listening and observing
  • Respect
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

The students build a map of Europe in the playground of their school. They work on countries they did research on.
They start off with positioning a blank map of countries they did research on at home in the playground in order to build the map of Europe. After this, the students continue with indicating capital of the country, colouring the flag, and drawing characteristics of landforms. They lay out rivers, mountains and other important things on the physical map. At the end, the teacher engages them in a discussion about similarities and differences in a) a geographical context, and b) a social context.

Materials

  • Printed blank copies of European countries, map of Europe as templates, country portraits, coloured paper, atlas, blackboard or flipchart

Group size

Whole group

Time needed

(Collecting suggestions from CT)

Preparation

(Collecting suggestions from CT)

Step-by-step instructions

  • The students bring to the lesson the country portraits and all the information they have collected about the countries they did research on at home.
  • The whole class gathers in the school playground.
  • The teacher sets the framework of the map by defining the area in which the students can work.
  • The teacher instructs the students to build a physical map of Europe. Teacher provide students with a large blank map of European countries (A3) they focused on at home.
  • Then, individually, they can indicate the capital cities and the flags on the layout (each student works on the country he/she did research on at home).
  • After having laid out the capital cities and flags, the students continue to work on the rivers and landforms. Not all students will be busy as not all countries will have major rivers and landforms.
  • The teacher might possibly wish to ask these students to help other classmates or to assign students who have already finished with their country to other classmates.
  • The students can use different materials, such as textiles, paper, etc., to lay out the rivers and landforms.
  • The students can also add other things to the physical map, but this should be voluntary.
  • Students should position the large map of the country they worked on, on the playground. As in a puzzle, they should follow the image of Europe they built in Lesson 1 to create their own European map.
  • The students have to make sure that the right countries are next to each other.
  • Having done this, every student should stand in his/her country and begin a dialogue with the student in the neighbouring country.
  • They should exchange information about each other’s countries. Invisible barriers might arise, such as having to speak a foreign language.
  • As a result of the country portrait that every student has filled in, it should be possible for each student to exchange a few words with one another in “their” country’s language.
  • The rest of the dialogue can take place in their mother tongue.
  • The students should try to have as many dialogues as possible with their classmates in neighbouring countries.
  • When the physical map is finished, photos are taken. Ideally, the map should be photographed twice – once with the students standing in “their” countries and once without the students, so that all the landforms, rivers, etc., can be clearly seen
  • The students sit in a circle around the map.
  • It is the students’ task to look at the map and think about the similarities and differences on the map. They should try to answer questions such as:
    • Which parts of Europe have high mountains?
    • Where are the longest rivers?
    • Which countries have similar landforms?
    • In which countries do people speak the same language?
    • Which countries share a sea?
  • As a second step, the teacher introduces another set of questions to start a new discussion. Apart from natural and geographical similarities and differences, there are other differences in Europe, such as social differences or phenomena like prejudice.
  • The teacher motivates the students to voice their thoughts about the social differences in Europe by raising questions such as:
    • Are there rich and poor countries in Europe? Which are rich? Which are poor?
    • Is life more difficult in some European countries than in others? Why?
    • Why do many people leave their country to live somewhere else? What are the reasons for this?
    • Teachers take note on flip boards and guide the discussion by also stimulating possible solutions to some social problems.

Debriefing and Evaluation

Debrief the activity with “The telegraph”.

Tips for the teacher

The term “physical map” is used in two different senses. Firstly, a physical map in the context of cartography describes a map which shows identifiable landmarks such as mountains, rivers, lakes, oceans and other permanent geographic features. Secondly, the term physical map is also used in the context of genetics, where it describes how much DNA separates two genes and is measured in base pairs, as opposed to a genetic map.

In the context of this series of lessons about Europe we use the term “physical map” in the cartographic sense but also in a very active sense – with the students “acting out” the maps themselves.

Only by doing so can the difficult spatial relationships, the concept of borders, the length of rivers and the height of mountains be grasped by students at primary level. This also helps students to understand the social aspects of living together on the European continent. By actually building and then “standing in” the countries, the students can physically perceive their neighbours and can understand boundaries and barriers such as foreign languages, culture and other country related differences more easily. The concept of building a physical map ties in to aspects of learning by doing and concrete experiences.

A3@M2 CVS ACTIVITY #4 – AT HOME IN EUROPE – Lesson 1

What I know about Europe

Aim

  • To re-activate their knowledge about Europe
  • To discover their view of the continent

Source of the activity

Derived from “Growing up in democracy”

Type of activity

Individual work, plenary discussion

Competences targeted by the activity

  • Civic mindedness
  • Analytical and critical thinking skills
  • Skills of listening and observing
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the self
  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the world

Overview

Children work with a map of Europe. They indicate where they come from, they write down what cities they know, which countries are familiar to them, and which flags and other important things they know, etc.

Materials

  • Printed copies of the map of Europe, country portraits, pens, glue, scissors, atlas, books, Internet (if possible).

Group size

1 class

Time needed

(Collecting suggestions from CT)

Preparation

(Collecting suggestions from CT)

Step-by-step instructions

  • The students are given a printed copy of a blank map of a country of Europe (ideally enlarged to A4 size). Their task is to re-activate what they know about countries of Europe.
  • They start to work on different questions listed underneath the map of the country they have been given (e.g. What’s the Capital of France? What’s the longest river in Italy?). They have to check the answer they think is correct among alternatives.
  • The teacher then presents the information pack about each country in the students’ handout section (capitals, flags, rivers, mountains and landforms).
  • The students will work with this material but can also collect information using other resources, as far as these are available in the classroom (Internet, atlas, books, etc.). Students will colour and draw on the blank map of the country assigned to them according to the information collected
  • Once students have finished, they will position their country on a larger blank map of Europe the teacher will provide whole class with. The finished maps of Europe is displayed on the wall. As homework, the students choose one European country to do research on at home (different than the one assigned in class). They fill in the “Country portrait” up to lesson 2.
“Country Portait”
Capital
Language*
Main Historical Events
Rich or Poor Country
Rivers/Lakes/Mountains
* (students should learn hot to say a few words – e.g. Good Morning – in the language of the country they are focusing on)

Debriefing and Evaluation

Debrief the activity with “The telegraph”.

Tips for the teacher

(Collecting suggestions from the CT)

A3@M2 #4 – AT HOME IN EUROPE

Background information for teachers: what traces of Europe are present in students’ daily life

Students at primary level have a different perception of time and spatial relationships than adults. Therefore, when tackling Europe as a topic at primary school level, it is essential to find age-adequate touching points where a didactical concept of European learning can be developed. Concepts of space and relations are different to those of students at secondary level. The students’ prior knowledge, their current attitudes towards Europe and their interests, as well as different ways for them to gather information, should be reflected on by the teacher beforehand. How can primary school students learn about Europe? Not forgetting one of the key EDC/HRE questions relating to Europe: what is European identity? EDC/HRE is not a national concept. It is a concept that deals with the question of how people live together in different settings: in terms of family, neighbourhood, class, school, region, country, and in terms of Europe.

When looking at the reality of students’ lives, it becomes evident that nowadays primary school students grow up with an international and therefore also a European dimension to their daily life.

Students experience this in terms of internationality, multiculturalism and multilingualism in various contexts:

  • through living together with children from different nations and cultures (in kindergarten, at school, in the area in which they live);
  • through international products;
  • through European and international references in media used by the students (books, magazines, television, CDs, the Internet, etc.);
  • through travelling.

Most of these contexts are taken for granted by students from an early age and are perceived unconsciously. For example, students are not conscious of the origins of foods such as spaghetti, pizza and croissants, as they have not actively experienced the slow process of integration of consumer goods within Europe. At the same time, stereotypes and simplified viewpoints of various parts of our continent are constantly appearing in the media. For students, these stereotypes can become prior “knowledge” about Europe that has somehow been “endorsed”. In reality, these are attitudes or subjective beliefs rather than knowledge.

Thus, primary school students cannot be viewed as a tabula rasa when talking about Europe. What teaching about Europe can add is the dimension of sorting, systematising, expanding and objectifying any prior knowledge. Teaching and learning should therefore aim at reflecting present stereotypes, prejudices and opinions, as well as at focusing on raising awareness of a multicultural, multilingual and in itself diverse but equal European society.

In comparison to the secondary level, teaching and learning about Europe in primary school has to be experienced and lived actively. Teaching needs to encompass a very open-minded approach, which leans towards two disciplinary dimensions – the objective–neutral and the ideal – and which uses very concrete examples from students’ daily lives. For this age group, real communication and friendship are the central didactical dimensions for teaching and learning. Where the group includes students with a migration background, this could be used as one of the starting points for teaching and learning about Europe and its people.

This activity is articulated in 2 lessons:

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