Activity: Stage 2 Unit 1 - Why is it important to belong?
Broad focus for an inquiry: Diversity and difference, self and belonging, culture and society.
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- How am I the same and how am I different to others?
- What groups do I belong to?
- Why is it important to feel a sense of belonging?
Understandings, skills and values
- Belonging is important.
- Belonging to a group enhances identity and self-worth.
- We are all unique.
- We need to understand and respect each other’s differences.
- Although we may look, sound and feel different, we have the same basic needs.
Challenges of diversity
Students read a variety of novels and picture books that explore ideas around difference including physical, social, cultural and geographical differences. Students identify themes and discuss the author’s purpose in exploring difference through their writing.
Many books deal with the subject of difference. Booklists can be found at:
Example of suitable books:
- Mirror by Jeanie Baker,
- We’re all Wonders by R. J. Palacio
- Whoever You Are by Mem Fox.
How does our community support diversity?
Explore the local area and identify ways in which the school community supports diversity. Encourage students to consider this broadly to include any physical adaptations, such as signs or books in different languages, or physical alterations like ramps for easier access to buildings for people with mobility difficulties due to age or disability or parents and carers with a pram or stroller. Students can list examples and take photos.
Building tolerance and respect
Students brainstorm ways in which their class or school could increase its support of diversity and inclusivity in the classroom, the canteen, assembly hall and on the playground. They could think about what changes can be made and how they can increase the school’s ability to support others.
Design and make
Students use their research around the school environment to develop a product or initiative to promote belonging and inclusivity at their school. Students are encouraged to think broadly about supporting others. This could include making changes in their classroom or re-designing a game to be more inclusive of a student with a disability.
Concluding and acting
Display and present the results of research in previous activity, including proposing changes to whole school organisation and practice through student voice in school planning groups.
Information for teachers
The following units of work for Stage 2 provide suggested activities to facilitate students’ understanding of diversity through an inquiry framework. They emphasise belonging, respect for and appreciation of difference and empathy for others.
Students learn about and practice being a good friend and behaviours that protect both themselves and others from bullying.
Note: Teachers should consider and be sensitive to the needs of specific students when planning these activities.
The subject matter covers:
- that belonging is important and people belong to many different groups
- that diversity and difference enrich our society
- the value of diversity in our local community and school
- how to recognise bullying
- how to respond to bullying at school using school wide responses
- protective behaviours to keep ourselves and others safe from bullying.
The units can be used to support the following syllabus areas and suggested outcomes:
- Personal Development, Health and Physical Education
- Human Society and its Environment
EN2-6B Identifies the effect of purpose and audience on spoken texts, distinguishes between different forms of English and identifies organisational patterns and features.
GE2-2 Describes the way people, places and environments interact.
IRS2.11 Describes how relationships with a range of people enhance wellbeing.
INS2.3 Makes positive contributions in group activities.
V1 Refers to a sense of their own worth and dignity.
V2 Respects the right of others to hold different values and attitudes from their own.
V3 Enjoys a sense of belonging.
EN1-2A Communicates in a range of informal and formal contexts by adopting a range of roles in group, classroom, school and community contexts.
EN2-2A Plans, composes and reviews a range of texts that are more demanding in terms of topic, audience and language.
EN2-4A Uses an increasing range of skills, strategies and knowledge to fluently read, view and comprehend a range of texts on increasingly challenging topics in different media and technologies.
EN2-8B Identifies and compares different kinds of texts when reading and viewing and shows an understanding of purpose, audience and subject matter.
EN2-11D Responds to and composes a range of texts that express viewpoints of the world similar to and different from their own
Assessment for learning
Establish current student understanding using strategies such as retrieval charts, word banks, mind maps and class discussions.
Assessment as learning
Collect, view and discuss data. Discuss and interpret the impact of diversity for their class, school and community. Describe and explain school wide anti-bullying strategies and protective behaviours.
Assessment of learning
Work collaboratively to create a visual presentation that communicates their feelings about the value of diversity. Create a campaign supporting school wide anti-bullying strategies.