Year 7 to 8 classroom resources First Steps



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Year 7 to 8 classroom resources



First Steps


Teacher Support Resources > Year 7 - 8 First Steps

Page Content

First Step resources are introductory activities that support students’ development of the intercultural understanding general capability. Students are introduced to issues of identity, culture and diversity in Australia.


Alignment to the curriculum

Intercultural understanding


Students understand the importance of maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions for the development of personal, group and national identities and identify stereotypes and prejudices in the representation of group, national and regional identities. For more information, see: the Australian curriculum intercultural understanding learning continuum

English


Students identify and explore ideas and viewpoints about events, issues and characters represented in texts drawn from different historical, social and cultural contexts.

Students explore the interconnectedness of country and place, people, identity and culture in texts including those by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander authors. For more information, see: AusVELS English domain


Engage


Introduce students to two videos featuring young Australians speaking about issues related to identity, culture, nation and belonging. Ask students to listen carefully to what each speaker says and to note down key ideas, words or phrases that resonate, and powerful or emotive comments. To assist students with this task, give them access to the transcript that accompanies each video and/or allow them to view each video several times.

For more information, see:

This is who I am – a short film of Bachar Houli, the first Muslim to play Australian Football League.

Being Australian –  a short film of students talking about being Australian.

Ask students to share their notes with a partner or in a small group and to discuss their interpretations of what each speaker said.

Provide students with a Venn diagram and ask them to represent what the films have in common in terms of issues of identity, culture, nation and belonging.

Invite students to explain their thinking to the whole class.

Respond


After viewing, invite students to work in small groups to share their responses to the interviews, using the following questions as a guide:

  • What do we learn from these young people about issues of identity, culture, nation and belonging?

  • What do we learn about the power of young people engaging in dialogue about complex issues?

  • What do we learn about the power of young people engaging in dialogue across faiths?

Ask students to develop a group response for each question to share with the whole class. Introduce them to the visible thinking routine Headlines for this task. For more information, see: Headlines

Invite a spokesperson from each group to share their Headline for each question and to explain:



  • Why did the group choose this headline?

  • How does the headline sum up the group’s thinking?

Create


Ask students to write their personal story, titled This is Who I Am, drawing on the issues of identity, culture, nation and belonging explored by the young people in the videos. Encourage students to use these questions as prompts:

  • How do you feel about being Australia?

  • How do you describe your identity?

  • What impact does culture have on your sense of identity?

  • When do you feel you belong/not belong?

Invite students to read their story to a partner or small group and to elaborate on their personal story, answering any questions they may have. 

Then invite students to publish their personal stories for the wider school community in the school newsletter, on the school website, or as a display in the school foyer.


Reflect


Encourage students to reflect on what they have learnt. Instruct students to use sticky notes to write down their responses to the following questions:

  • What questions do you still have about issues of identity, culture, nation and belonging?

  • What puzzles do you still have about these issues?

Ask students to work in small groups to combine their notes and to organise these into groups. For example, students might have questions about acceptance or multiculturalism, or they may be puzzled about racism in Australia.

Invite each group to share their thoughts and discussion with the whole class.

Collate students’ responses and review the common themes, ideas and challenges that these have revealed.

Further ideas


For more information, see:

Visible Thinking – provides resources and information on visible thinking routines.


Exploring Deeper


Teacher Support Resources > Year 7 - 8 Exploring Deeper

Page Content

Exploring Deeper resources are learning sequences that support students’ development of the intercultural understanding general capability. Students explore issues of identity, culture and diversity in Australia.


Alignment to the curriculum

Intercultural understanding


Students understand the importance of maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions for the development of personal, group and national identities and identify stereotypes and prejudices in the representation of group, national and regional identities. For more information, see: the Australian curriculum intercultural understanding learning continuum

English


Students understand how rhetorical devices are used to persuade and how different layers of meaning are developed through the use of metaphor, irony and parody.

Students interpret the stated and implied meanings in spoken texts, and use evidence to support or challenge different perspectives.

Students create imaginative, informative and persuasive texts that raise issues, report events and advance opinions, using deliberate language and textual choices, and including digital elements as appropriate. For more information, see: AusVELS English domain

Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia


Students understand that Australians of Asian heritage have influenced Australia’s history and continue to influence its dynamic culture and society. For more information, see: AusVELS Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia

Engage


Note to teachers: remind students to discuss issues of stereotyping without using abusive or harmful language and to participate in activities respectfully.

Before commencing this task, download the activity on stereotypes from the Harmony Day website and prepare six profiles of restaurant diners. Be careful not to pre-empt students’ responses by telling them this is a task about stereotypes. For more information, see: Stereotypes activity

Follow the instructions on the activity sheet and nominate six students to act as the employees in the restaurant where money has been stolen.

Lead a whole class discussion on stereotyping, asking students to reflect on their thinking and prior discussions:



  • Did we stereotype some of these people? How?

  • What assumptions did we make about individuals?

  • What sorts of things cause us to stereotype people?

  • How does it feel to be stereotyped?

  • Are stereotypes accurate or do they cause us to believe things that aren’t based on facts?

Encourage students to think of a time(s) when they may have been a victim of stereotyping and to share this with the whole class. Then ask them to complete the activity titled ‘Satellite self’, located on the Racism. No Way! website. For more information, see: Satellite self

At the completion of the activity, ask students to share their sentences:



  • I am a/an …………………

  • I am NOT a/an …………………………………

Encourage students to ask each other to justify their sentences:

  • What experiences have you had that make you think this way?

  • Why do you feel you need to assert this about yourself?

Invite students to write a brief reflection about the harm that can arise from narrow perceptions of people’s identity and to share this with the class.

Collate students’ responses and ask: What are we saying about the potential harm caused by stereotyping?


Examine


Pose the idea that humour can be a powerful, ironic way to challenge stereotypes. Invite them to share any comedians they know who use irony and self-deprecation to shine a light on cultural, religious, gender or ageist stereotypes.

View the YouTube film titled Stereotypes, located on the Asia Education Foundation website. For more information, see: Stereotypes

Ask students to note the rhetorical devices used by the maker of the film.


  • How does she use humour?

  • What stereotypes does she challenge through her use of humour?

  • Evaluate the tone of the speaker and the nature of the language she uses. Is it authoritative, sarcastic, informed, or confident?

  • Evaluate the impact of the humour. Is it soft, hard hitting, witty or capable of changing people’s perceptions? 

Invite students to share their responses to the film.

Investigate the humour of Australian comedian Lawrence Leung. Before viewing a film clip featuring his comedy, ask students to think about the ‘persona’ that Lawrence adopts in his comedy and the stereotypes he is drawing on in this comedy.

View the film Be Cool, located on the Asia Education Foundation website. For more information, see: Be Cool

Ask students to once more note:



  • How does Leung use humour?

  • What stereotypes does he challenge through humour?

  • Evaluate the tone and the nature of the language Leung uses. Is it authoritative, sarcastic, informed or confident?

  • Evaluate the impact of the humour. Is it soft, hard hitting, witty or capable of changing people’s perceptions? 

Invite students to share whether they liked the film clip or not and whether they thought it was funny. Ask them to justify their answers.

Draw students’ attention to Leung’s technique of exploring stereotypes by trying to do one thing, being cool, but doing the opposite, performing a nerdy version of breakdancing. Ask them to evaluate if they think this is effective. Then ask them to notice how the audience reacts to Leung’s humour – when do they ‘get it’ and what is their response?

Download the student activities for Be Cool and present students with the glossary of terms used in humourous texts. For more information, see: Be Cool student activities

Organise students into small groups to discuss each term and to decide which best describes the humour in Be Cool. Ask one student from each group to share their response.

Then ask students to think about Australian humour as self-mocking and ironic and to examine Leung as an Australian comedian, working with stereotypes of Chinese people and culture:


  • Does Leung follow this tradition of Australian humour? If so, how?

  • Is Leung breaking new ground with his style of humour? If so, how?

  • In what ways does Leung’s style of humour help to create an Australian identity?

Invite each group to nominate a presenter to share the group’s thoughts and discussion with the whole class.

Respond


Ask students to write a brief persuasive text on the role of humour in challenging stereotypes in response to the prompt:

  • Humour is an effective way for people to neutralise the power of stereotypes.

Invite students to share their arguments with the whole class.

Then ask students to work in small groups to consider this dilemma:



  • There is a fine line between using humour to challenge stereotypes and perpetuating stereotypes.

Draw the discussion together by inviting students to come and stand in a line, with one extreme representing the position that humour is effective in challenging stereotypes and the other representing the position that humour is not effective in challenging stereotypes. Select students along the continuum to justify their position.

Further ideas


For more information, see:

Intersections of Identity – provides additional activities to use with the film clips Stereotypes and Be Cool.

Take a stand against racism – provides additional activities on stereotypes on the Australian Human Rights Commission website.


Engaging with Challenging Issues


Teacher Support Resources > Year 7 - 8 Engaging with Challenging Issues

Page Content

​Engaging with Challenging Issues resources are inquiry-based units of work that support students’ development of the intercultural understanding general capability. Students investigate some of the challenges associated with issues of identity, culture and diversity in Australia.




Alignment to the curriculum

Intercultural understanding


Students understand the importance of maintaining and celebrating cultural traditions for the development of personal, group and national identities and identify stereotypes and prejudices in the representation of group, national and regional identities. For more information, see: the Australian curriculum intercultural understanding learning continuum

Ethical understanding


Students learn to develop ethical understanding as they explore ethical issues and interactions with others, discuss ideas, and learn to be accountable as members of a democratic community. Students also explore values, rights and responsibilities to assist them in justifying their ethical position and in engaging with the position of others. For more information, see: Australian curriculum ethical understanding general capability

Civics and citizenship


Students develop skills required for active and informed citizenship and use these in class and community contexts. ​For more information, see: AusVELS Civics and Citizenship domain

Health and physical education


Students continue their study of the changes associated with adolescence by identifying what changes have already occurred and what changes (physical, social and emotional) they can expect to experience. They describe the influence of the family on shaping personal identity and values. They explain how community attitudes and laws influence the sense of right and wrong.

In developing strategies to minimise harm and to protect their own and others’ health, students consider health resources, products and services, and the influences of the law, public health programs, their conscience, community attitudes, and religious beliefs. They begin to clarify a cohesive set of personal values and how they could be used to improve their health. For more information, see: AusVELS Health and Physical Education domain


Note to teachers


Before commencing these activities, familiarise yourself with the body of research, information and case study material contained in two publications for teachers from the Australian Human Rights Commission. It is important that before introducing students to an investigation of racism and its impacts, teachers begin from an informed base, knowing the legal and ethical dimensions of racism as a human rights issue.

For more information, see:

Take a stand against racism – a unit of work by the Australian Human Rights Commission designed to equip young people to take a stand against racism in their community, by valuing diversity and encouraging others to do the same.

Tackling racism in Australia – a unit of work by the Australian Human Rights Commission designed to equip students to develop strategies and actions for celebrating diversity and taking action against racism.

Racial Discrimination: Know your rights – information on racial discrimination and how it can be addressed by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Some of the activities contained in these resources have been adapted for students in Years 7 and 8. 

It is also important to note that the investigation of issues of human rights and racism relies on students participating respectfully in activities, as well as in discussions that avoid abuse and harmful language.

Engage


Introduce students to the video, No Excuse, produced by the City of Yarra, Melbourne. Inform students that they are to listen carefully to the real life experiences of young people. Warn students they may find some of these stories similar to their own personal experiences. For more information, see: No Excuse

Ask students to note key words, emotions and themes that emerge from these stories.

After viewing, ask students to work with a partner or in a small group to consider these questions:


  • What is common about these young people’s experiences?

  • How common do you think these experiences are to young people in Australia?

  • What are the personal and social impacts of these experiences?

Invite students to nominate a presenter to give a summary of the group’s discussion to the whole class.

Introduce students to the key questions for inquiry:



  • What is racism?

  • What are the social and personal impacts of racism?

  • What can individuals do to prevent racism?

Record these questions for display in the classroom. Ask students to add any questions they have about the issue of racism in Australia.

Then ask students to define racism. Provide students with the list below to assist with this task, adapted from What is Racism?  For more information, see: What is Racism?



  • Making jokes or negative comments about a particular ethnic group

  • Making jokes or negative comments about a particular religious group

  • Targeting females of a particular ethnic group or religion

  • Calling others racist names or verbally abusing them in public or private

  • Making offensive or threatening comments online

  • Bullying, hassling or intimidating others because of race

  • Excluding people from groups because they’re different or don't belong

  • Physically abusing someone because of their race

Introduce students to the terms ‘invisible racism’ and ‘systemic racism’ and ask them to describe, without using names or identifiers, any experiences they or others may have had of these forms of abuse.

Provide students with information about the legal implications of racism. For more information, see: What does the law say?

Ask students to write a reflection on what they have learnt.

Return to the key inquiry questions posed in the unit of work and invite students to analyse which questions have been addressed and what they still find challenging or puzzling.


Explore


Use the statistical tool, Choose your own Statistics, to explore Australia’s demographic data. For more information, see: Choose your own Statistics

Explore Australia’s population in terms of demographics, country of birth, refugees and asylum seekers.

For more information, see:

Demographics – an infographic generated by Choose your own Statistics.

Country of birth – an infographic generated by Choose your own Statistics.

Refugees and asylum seekers – an infographic generated by Choose your own Statistics.

Ask students to work in small groups to discuss the above data, using these questions as a guide:


  • What does the data reveal about Australia’s cultural diversity?

  • What does the data reveal about Australia’s Indigenous population?

  • How does the data confirm your prior knowledge or understanding?

  • Are there any surprises for you in the data?

  • Does this information challenge your preconceptions of Australia’s cultural diversity? If so, how?

Invite each group to nominate someone to present a summary of their discussion to the whole class.

Then ask students to work in small groups to develop a generalised statement about Australia’s cultural diversity. Invite a presenter from each group to share their statement with the whole class. Encourage debate and discussion about these generalised statements and return to the data sets if necessary.

Introduce students to the film clip Racism in Australia Ask them to take down notes and to describe the social and personal impacts of racist abuse. Students may need to view the film clip several times for this task. For more information, see: Racism in Australia

Discuss students’ observations and focus on the social and personal impacts of the words that people say to others.

Continue the focus on the negative impacts of racist abuse. Introduce students to the interview with AFL player, Adam Goodes, after a 13-year-old girl abused him during a game in the celebrated ‘Indigenous Round.’ Ask students to note what was said and the personal impact of this on Adam Goodes as an Indigenous Australian. For more information, see: Adam Goodes, interview

Discuss students’ observations.

Return to the key inquiry questions posed at the beginning of the inquiry. Invite students to reflect on their learning in relation to these questions. Invite students to comment on any new questions that have arisen for them, any puzzles, or challenges.

Explain


Ask students to explain their current understanding of racism in Australia and its impacts. Create a worksheet for students including the questions below, adapted from Tackling racism in Australia. For more information, see: Tackling racism in Australia

  • Do all Australians view cultural diversity in the same way?

  • What might be some of the motivations and reasons behind negative attitudes towards cultural diversity?

  • Can you think of any examples of negative beliefs and attitudes towards cultural diversity that are evident in your school or local community?

  • What are some examples of racism that can be seen or heard? For example, overt forms of racism such as verbal or physical abuse.

  • What are some examples of racism that might be 'invisible' or harder to perceive? For example, covert forms of racism such as discrimination on a systemic level.

  • What are the significant social and personal impacts of racism?

Encourage students to share their written explanations with others and for students to question each other for clarification or elaboration.

Focus on a quote from one of the victims of racism, featured in the film clip, Racism in Australia. For more information, see: Racism in Australia

"That’s one thing about racism. It attacks your soul. You know, it does more damage than bullets and weaponry could ever do."

Ask students to reflect on this comment and create a response to this using digital technology such as Global2, Padlet, Glogster or Museum Box.

For more information, see:

Global2 – is a free blogging community for Victorian schools. It allows users to create blogs combining text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks and to share them with others electronically.

Padlet – is a free online bulletin board where users can pose open-ended questions and elicit multiple responses using text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks.

Glogster – is an online tool available that allows users to create virtual posters combining text, audio, video, images, and hyperlinks and to share them with others electronically. Costs apply for registration.

Museum Box – provides the tools to build up an argument or description of an event, person or historical period by placing items in a virtual box. Costs apply for registration.

Ask students to share their presentations with the class and invite other students to provide ‘warm’ feedback. For more information, see: Assessment for learning: warm and cool feedback


Elaborate


Ask students to think about what motivates people to be racist. List students answers and ask them to check these against the reasons provided in the handout Why are people racist?, from Racism. It Stops with Me. For more information, see: Why are people racist?

Discuss the reasons for racist behaviour outlined in the handout and ask students to reflect on these in relation to what happens at their school and in their community. Ask students to work with a partner to nominate what they think is the most significant reason for racism and then to share this with the class.

Ask students to continue working with their partners to consider why racism is often targeted towards the most vulnerable people in our community – women and children. Ask students to read through the stories from ABC News Online about Muslim women in Australia who have been victims of racist abuse and to come up with possible reasons for this. For more information, see: 'No-one sits next to me anymore': Australian Muslim women on how their lives have changed, ABC News

Invite each pair of students to share their reasoning with the whole class.


Identifying with victims of racism


Engage students in an activity called ‘Playing the game’ from the Racism. No Way! website. For more information, see: Playing the game

Encourage students to make connections between this learning experience and what they have learnt about racism in Australia and its social and personal impacts. Use the visible thinking routine Connect, Extend, Challenge for this task. For more information, see: Connect, Extend, Challenge

Introduce students to different initiatives that encourage people like them to take a personal stand against racism. Begin by showing the film clip What You Say Matters. For more information, see: What You Say Matters

Encourage students to analyse the message(s) of this campaign and how this message(s) is being presented to the viewer. Ask students to reflect on the importance of individuals taking a stand against racism and the power of positive messaging.

Allocate students to small groups to analyse three other campaigns and to present their response to the whole class.

For more information, see:

Racism. It Stops With Me. –  a campaign which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism wherever it happens.

Anti-hate Campaign – a campaign that aims to combat racism, homophobia and any other discrimination.

Bystander Action – a campaign that aims to encourage bystander action on preventing race-based discrimination.

Evaluate


Provide students with the summative task for the unit of work and provide them with a rubric. Inform them that they are to design a community action campaign against racism for their year level or school. Emphasise to them the importance of positive messaging.

Students should draw upon the knowledge they have developed throughout the inquiry about racism and its impacts, in addition to their thoughts and feelings. Ask them to include a written reflection on those experiences and activities that had the most influence on them as a learner.

Allow students choice over how they present their campaign.

Seek out opportunities for students to share their campaigns more widely across the school and the local community. For example, a school ‘expo’, an article in the school newsletter or local newspaper, or an invitation to meet with local councillors and Members of Parliament.


Further ideas


For more information, see:

Racism. Its Stops with Me – a campaign which invites all Australians to reflect on what they can do to counter racism wherever it happens.

Racism. No Way – anti-racism education for Australian schools.

Cool tools for schools– provides a comprehensive range of web 2.0 tools for use in the classroom.

Visible Thinking – provides resources and information on visible thinking routines.

Assessment for Learning – provides a deeper understanding of assessment for learning strategies.   




Resources for exploring diversity and developing intercultural understanding in the classroom May 2015



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