Thursday, October 23, 2008

Valuing Diversity Activities

On Tuesday and Wednesday this week, the school was involved in "Valuing Diversity" Activities. Our school is very multicultural given it's proximity to all the embassies. It is really exciting to see the children exploring various cultures through a selection of activities. The hard thing with events like this is that what you present is only a snap-shot of an impression of a country and it's culture - not completely accurate, but still valuable.

On the first day, we divided the students into mixed grade groups (K-6) and in these groups they visited different 'countries' (one per classroom). Each teacher was responsible for organising 3 or 4 activities related to a country, that students could complete as a group without teacher assistance. The groups arrived, chose an activity, did the activity, packed up the materials, and were given a score for how well they did these things. Teachers were able to determine how many groups to have in their room at any one time. As each group had about 12 children, it was suggested that 2 groups would be manageable, 3 would be maximum. For most of the day, I had 2 groups.

The teachers did a great job of selecting a variety of activities for the children to experience - these included food tastings, games, art & craft, dancing, listening to songs/stories, and races. All the kids were really engaged and it was great to see the big kids helping the little ones.

In the afternoon we had a big assembly where the points were announced and the top three teams were given prizes.

On the second day, students wore traditional costumes from around the world. We met together to parade the costumes, and then shared a lunch of foods from around the world. Parents had kindly donated foods for the children to taste. One of the teachers played the didgeridoo and some of the kindy kids mimed the appropriate animals - kangaroos, dingoes and kookaburras.
Some Balinese dancers also visited from the Indonesian Embassy to show us some of their dance style.

Both days were really enjoyable, and the kids learnt a lot from the experience. It was well planned and organised and came together really well.

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