4—How are we similar to and different from other children who live in other parts of the world?
People live in different regions/continents of the world
Orient the students to the global perspective to be taken in Sequence 4 by building a sense of how many people populate the continents or regions of the world.
What and where are the continents?
Provide students each with a round balloon and a marker pen. Ask students if they know what and where the continents of the world are, and have them write these on the blank balloon as if it were a globe of the world, optionally also drawing a rough outline of each continent (or use large plain balls and sticky labels). Scribe on a board students’ existing knowledge, for example:
- Which countries belong to which continents?
- What oceans lie between which continents?
- How might students define the word ‘continent’?
Display a globe and/or map depicting the continents and cross-check this against the students’ preliminary ideas, identifying where they were accurate and which continents were not identified or not located correctly.
Define ‘continents’ for students as ‘very large land masses’ (noting that there is some ‘trickiness’ to defining continents and that the conventionally agreed list of seven continents are not all separate land masses).
Point out that students are expected to learn and remember the names of the continents (these are introduced in Year 2 in the Australian Curriculum: Geography).
Where do people around the world live?
Display the following continental/regional names in different places around the classroom: North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Antarctica. Ask the students to imagine that the children in their class represent the whole population of the world, and invite them to guess what proportion of the class might live in each region (alternatively, or in addition, give pairs of students a map showing the continents and 100 1cm cubes to place in the geographic regions/continents on the map). Some hints might be given, for example, that only a very small number of people are ever living in Antarctica, and compared to all the people in the world there would not even be one person from the class (or one out of 100 cubes) living there.
Next, either read the book If the world were a village: A book about the world’s people up to at least pages 8 and 9 (finish the rest at another time) or access a video version of this book and watch the first section (there is DVD available for purchase, and a three-minute trailer for it covers basic information about population distribution).
Teachers may also benefit from viewing The Miniature Earth as background knowledge and could show the first 25 seconds to the class. It would be best to show the rest of ‘The Miniature Earth’ at a later time and after determining its suitability for Year 3 students.
Discuss the students’ estimations of world population distribution and how these compare with their guesses. In what ways were students’ guesses on the right track? What was surprising about how many people live in certain parts of the world? Why might we spend some of our school time learning about Asia in particular?
Children around the world are similar but different
Introduction to global differences including inequality
Read some more of the book If the world were a village (particularly the pages on ‘Languages’, ‘Food’, ‘Air and water’ and ‘School and work’) and/or view the video The miniature earth. What do students find interesting or surprising?
Compare the main languages spoken around the world with those spoken by class members and their families as identified in the first activity of Sequence 2, Learning about languages in our lives.
Have students create column graphs for the following categories, using the ‘out of 100’ figures provided in the above resources.
- In the whole world, how many people have access to adequate sanitation? (This means public or household sewage disposal – such as toilets – included properly lined pit toilets.)
- how many have clean water to drink?
- how many have a computer at home?
- how many have an internet connection at home?
- how many have enough food / only sometimes have enough / consistently do not have enough to eat?
Compare these graphs with those created in the second part of Sequence 2 ‘How are my classmates similar and different? — surveys and maps’. What does this tell us about life in Australia compared with life in different places in the world?
Display for students the heading and photo of the text ‘Sheila from the Philippines’, from the resource A Day in the Life: Stories (.pdf 810 kB). Read the title for the students so that they know about to pronounce ‘Philippines’. Ask: Is this likely to be an imaginary, informative or persuasive text? What makes you think that? Where are the Philippines? Locate the Philippines on a map.
Uncover the print and allow students to view the text. Provide students with time to read silently the first 3 paragraphs, telling them the class will soon read these sentences together. Tell the students that after reading this short section, you are going to expect them to make up some questions based on what they read. Then read the text of the first three paragraphs together as a shared reading activity.
Have students generate their own questions, for example by inviting questions from the class for each sentence in turn. Where appropriate, encourage students to generate not only literal questions (for example, ‘How old is Sheila?’) but also inferential questions (for example, ‘Is Sheila’s family probably quite wealthy or quite poor?’). Discuss: Were our predictions about the kind of text correct? What kind of text do we think it is, so far at least? Informative – factual description and information about daily life – teachers may choose to draw students’ attention to the use of simple present tense to indicate what usually happens, as was noted earlier in Sequence 2.
Independent reading and comprehension
Indicate to students that there are five children featured in Day in the Life: Stories, and locate all the places featured in this resource on a world map, identifying to which continent/region each belongs.
Have the students work in groups with each group taking as its focus one of the five Day in the Life featured children.
After reading, students each generate five questions they have about the child and his/her life. Ideally, these should be two literal questions, two inferential questions and one question which ‘goes beyond the text’.
Students swap their Day in the Life: Stories with a classmate from a different group; independently read the texts; and ask and answer the first four of the student-generated questions orally. This activity can be repeated by re-pairing with different classmates so that students develop knowledge of the lives and homes of several of the featured children.
Discuss: What was similar about all the children featured in the Day in the Life resource? (An important commonality is that all live in some degree of poverty/need.)
Developing a multi-modal presentation about children around the world
Show students the ‘A Day in the Life’ PowerPoint resource, asking students to provide oral commentary recalling their prior reading about these children.
Have students work in groups to adapt the ‘A Day in the Life’ PowerPoint resource so that it can be used as an assembly item or shared with family and friends on the class blog. Its purpose should be to deepen students’ own understanding about similarity and difference in different places in the world (including inequality) and to inform their audience about these understandings.
Each group will focus on a presentation about one of the children.
Each group’s presentation should conclude with a comparison of the featured child’s life in comparison to their own, with both geographical comparisons (for example, rural/urban; natural/managed/constructed features of places) and lifestyle comparisons (for example, goes to school/doesn’t go to school; sanitation comparisons). Students could do this by designing a comparison table in which similarities and differences are listed alongside one another; the comparison table from Sequence 3 provides a model to adapt or the table provided in the teacher notes (.pdf 336 kB) might be used.
The teacher and students can jointly construct a concluding slide/s representing students’ learning about the lives of these five children. Quotes from the students might be included, and generalisations about similarity and difference compared with their own lives in Australia.
Share the completed PowerPoint presentations with their intended audience and invite feedback, including from the students themselves.
Child labour as an example of difference which is unjust
Review with students their learning from the previous activity sequence: that not all children in all countries have the same kinds of lives / standards of living / opportunities. For example, in the description of Misael from Honduras, it mentions that some children don’t go to school because of work.
Orient students to the video they are about to watch: ‘Kajal’s story’. Explain that students will shortly view a video about a child living in India whose life is in many ways very different from their own. Locate India on the world map. Allow students time to read the comprehension activity (.pdf 1.2 MB) on Kajal’s story and to speculate as to what some of the missing answers could be.
Show the video ‘Kajal’s story’.
Teachers may also refer to Get Connected Issue 4 2008, page 10 (.pdf 4.2 MB) which distinguishes between ‘good work’ such as reasonable household chores and ‘child labour’; and the ‘Child Labour Cycle’ is on pages 18–19 of that issue.
Students read the text of Kajal’s story (.pdf 3.4 MB) and complete the comprehension activity, filling in the missing words.
Compare Kajal’s life with students’ lives. Have students reread their ‘About me’ writing from Sequence 2. Discuss in small groups: How are we similar to or different from Kajal?
Reflect on the social purpose of the texts about Kajal. Ask: What are the main things the creators of the World Vision article and video want us to learn about Kajal and her situation? What was the purpose of the World Vision video? Is its purpose informative or persuasive, or a combination? Why might that be the case?
Students complete the task ‘Different perspectives on child labour’ (.pdf 1.7 MB) and participate in the final activity in which they are encourage to begin to develop their own views about child labour.
What are the problems with child labour?
Have students identify some of the problems that child labour creates for the children involved. Jointly construct a ‘consequence chart’. You can download a template (.pdf 103 KB) as a model; however, teachers should their own to reflect actual ideas from class discussion rather than just filling in the template. The consequence chart should show how child labour causes flow-on effects including longer term future problems. For example, child labour causes children to not attend school; missed schooling leads to illiteracy; this in turns means that as adults, former child labourers are less likely to be able to provide adequately for their own families; potentially, this may perpetuate child labour.