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Unit 6: What I believe in - Teacher's notes

Interactive case study (flash)
Online activities (flash)
  1. What Do You Feel Strongly About?
  2. What Do They Believe In?
Activity sheets (pdf)
  1. I Believe...
  2. What We Think...
Certificate (pdf)
  1. Create certificate
 
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Flouri has just moved to the UK from Africa and is finding it difficult to settle in. Children learn about the importance of cultural understanding and the value of difference. Includes a picture comprehension activity and a take-home sheet.


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Objectives

  • To promote and increase multicultural understanding
  • To encourage the children to recognise that 'difference' makes life more interesting
  • To assert not only cultural and racial difference, but also the importance of differing backgrounds and opinions
  • To consider the impact of racial bullying on children's lives
  • To develop the children's thinking skills

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Curriculum links

Key Stage 2 Citizenship and PSHE

  • Developing confidence and responsibility and making the most of their abilities - 1a, 1b
  • Preparing to play an active role as citizens - 2a, 2c, 2e, 2f, 2i
  • Developing good relationships - 4a, 4b, 4d, 4f, 4g
  • Breadth of opportunities - 5g

Every Child Matters

  • Stay safe
  • Make a positive contribution

SEAL

  • Social skills
  • Empathy

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Lesson plan

Using the case study materials

This case study features Flouri, who is from Africa. She finds it difficult to settle into her new primary school because she is used to a much more formal, strict education in her homeland. At school in Africa she would work in silence and not be allowed home until all her work was finished. Some of her classmates think her diligent attitude is strange and start calling her names.

The Children's Society recognises her unhappiness and invites her to join a friendly group where other people from Africa get together to talk about their countries, culture and share stories. As her confidence increases, she can feel more relaxed and share more of her life experiences and opinions with her classmates.

  • Begin by asking the children what they can remember about their first day at school. What did they find strange or different? Were they particularly nervous about anything? If there are any children who have recently joined the class from another school, ask them to share their experiences too.
  • Share Flouri's story with the class. What do the children know about Africa? How is it the same and how is it different from where they live?
  • Can the children imagine what it would be like to work all day in silence, to sit in rows, and to know that you wouldn't be allowed home until you had finished your work?
  • Explain that The Children's Society introduced Flouri to the social group. Ask the children to say how this would help Flouri to settle into her new life in England.
  • Explain how Flouri and young people in her position can get support from their teachers.
  • At the end of the case study, on-screen questions prompt the children to think about why it is important to understand different cultures, and what they believe in themselves.
  • Use the discussion questions below to help you gauge the children's level of understanding of - and empathy towards - children in Flouri's situation.

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Suggested questions for discussion

  1. Where does Flouri come from?
  2. What kind of differences does Flouri notice between her old school and her new school?
  3. How do the girls bully Flouri?
  4. What does it mean to be a 'geek' or a 'swot'? Are these fair things to say?
  5. What did Flouri's mum mean when she said 'being good is our duty'?
  6. Can you describe one way in which you think you can be 'good'?
  7. How will it help everyone if Flouri shares her experiences of life in Africa?

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Online activity 1: What do you feel strongly about?

Children carry out an interactive quiz. They read a series of statements that relate to aspects of culture and belief systems, then decide whether they agree, strongly agree or disagree with each statement. They can print out their results.

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Online activity 2: What do they believe in?

Children look at a picture of two children arguing in the street and answer a series of questions based on the picture. There are no right or wrong answers, but encourage the children not to jump to conclusions and to consider the scenario from both sides.  This will support your work on thinking skills. The final question asks the children for their suggestions about how they think this conflict could be resolved.

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Activity sheet 1: I believe...

This sheet invites the children to draw a picture and write a paragraph about one thing they believe would make the world a happier place for children.

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Activity sheet 2: What we think...

This sheet can be taken home and shared with the family group or the children's carers. It lists five subjects - health, food, religion, education and fairness - and asks the family to write their views on each.

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Extension ideas

  • Ask the children to look again at the image of the children arguing in the street (Online activity 2: What do they believe?). Have a discussion about what causes arguments and the best way to resolve them. 
  • Put the children into groups and ask them to collect the results of their surveys, analyse the data and prepare a short report describing the main findings.
  • Encourage all the children in your class to bring in something from home that shows something about their lives and beliefs, such as photographs, clothes, artefacts, stories and so on. Make a class display to celebrate how everyone is different, whether their home country is England or elsewhere. The children could write labels for the items in more than one language.
  • Ask any children in your class who speak an additional language to teach the other children some greetings. You could write these up on the computer and display them in the entrance hall.

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Assembly ideas

You could base an assembly on any one of a number of excellent children's books which take understanding difference or multicultural understanding as the central theme. Some popular books that you may have in your library include:

  • Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell
  • Gregory Cool by Caroline Binch
  • Journey to Jo'burg by Beverley Naidoo
  • Coming to England by Floella Benjamin

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Certificates

When you have completed this My Life unit with your pupils, you can access a certificate from the Activity sheets box at the top of this page. You can type in the name of each student and print the personalised certificates. No names will be stored by us.

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