Tag Archives: learning together

Multi-culturalism and learning

Young student to his teacher, ” Why do they call it ‘Chinese New Year’? I’m from Vietnam and I celebrate it too!”

Maps, look at population charts, find some of the history for both countries, discuss foods, customs, language, and what it means to celebrate in a “home country” versus in an adopted country.

Recall and share a comment from another student “Russia is part of Asia too!” – once again maps, populations charts, history…

What it really means to teach a “diverse group of students”.  It means to be aware, to be open, to respect cultural differences, to recognize family practices versus “global” ideals.  And to learn with one’s students.  When we learn together, we give each other “voice” and when we listen we move beyond words and expected understanding of the words to the personal and how each student may or may not “relate” to a concept.

Kindergarten through grade 12 and for many – a number of years in post secondary- that is really a lot of time in the places we label “school”.  As educators we need to be aware of how our own understanding of vulnerability is affected when children voice their confusion, and to join the students in their research and review of concepts that adults may be “taking for granted”.  Our purpose after all is to encourage their thinking skills, their curiousity, and their desire to learn more.  But first we do have to create a safe space wherein they may question us.  And if we do not have the immediate answer- or better yet if we ignore the immediate answer and instead join with our students in the search for answers, we just may be modelling what inquiry – makers, and doers, is all about.

To all who may be celebrating the Lunar New Year Festivities- Enjoy!

A Lesson outline for Steam; all ages

“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.” -Rabindranath Tagore

“ Rabindrath Tagore- he became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.[4] In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial; however, his “elegant prose and magical poetry” remain largely unknown outside Bengal”
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Word painting: what image is created; when you listen, what do you see?

Say the phrase two or three times, how is the person expressing the idea/ feeling? How can you tell? What words require shape in the actual illustration?

Could there be a metaphor inside the following: “sunset sky”

Remember that for poetry to “work” it must be accessible on two levels; first as an actual literal read through- where we imagine the evening of a day and the sky- what colours, what energy, what may have cleared in the air?

The second level requires a second reading, this time as figurative or metaphorical speech; when do writers speak of clouds? What else may clouds symbolize? What is the writer saying about these clouds?

Please remember that when as readers we interpret poetry, we are offering suggestions relating to the author’s writing- we are relating to the words, and the images the words suggest, but we can’t be definite – our “guesses” relate to feelings, and poetry captures emotions…

Now, read it once more. Has knowing anything about the author helped in understanding the poem? Why might the writing be deemed “magical”?

–Science- recall what are clouds- how may clouds add colour?

Please illustrate the image twice- First as a literal image- what colour are “regular” clouds – and an evening sky…

Second illustration: please share how you would like to interpret the words via painting, drawing, chalk, etc.

Would love to see any images created! Thank you 🙂