Introduce the unit with children from four countries
Give students a clear picture of the aim of this unit, and the types of teaching and learning activities in which they will be involved.
Before reading the texts, show students images of children from various backgrounds as they go about their lives. Discuss what the children are doing in the photographs and use the following table to begin a list of all the things that the families and children do. Focus on the similarities as well as the differences.
Guide the students to compile a list of questions about the lives of the four children. The questions may then be answered in the stories about each child. Examples of questions students might ask:
- What are the children’s names and what countries are they from?
- What are they eating?
- What games do they play?
- What is their school like?
- What are their homes like?
Organise questions into categories such as school, food/meals, games, family and housing, and record responses.
In groups, read the children’s stories and add to the information recorded.
Display a flat map of the world for students. Also display a globe. Explain that these are two of many representations of the world made by cartographers.
The circular shape and the arc are used in many of the illustrations in Whoever You Are. Ask the students to think about what the circular shape and the arc shape represent.
Explain that the most ‘life-like’ world map is a globe. A globe is shaped as a ball like the planet Earth. A globe gives an accurate representation of the world, which is not possible with a flat map. All the countries on a globe are shown in an accurate scale, relative to each other.
Ask students firstly to locate their part of Australia and then places in the world where they or their family and friends come from, and places in the world that are topical. Mark them on a map. If available, use Google Earth to give a more dynamic view and then locate places for the four children above, then tour of some of the places that their family and friends come from.
Some students may be able to tell something of their family's journeys.
Keep this map, as students will need to locate Morocco in northern Africa when they read Mirror and Vietnam when they read The Little Refugee.