The rich cultural diversity within the classroom in local schools can be valued by using children's own experiences in a number of curriculum areas. Many pupils will have first hand knowledge and experiences of other countries, cultures, lifestyles and religions. Minority ethnic pupils can contribute to, for example, KS1 and KS2 Geography 6b, the study of a contrasting locality (KS1) and a locality in a country that is less economically developed (KS2), and in KS1 and 2 topics, for example Transport and Homes, Traveller children can add an extra dimension to topics through their experiences, by making their stories into computer talking books which can be shared with a whole class on a screen or interactive whiteboard. The picture above shows a talking book being used to let children at Brockworth Primary school hear about Greek Easter customs in Cyprus.
Making and Using Talking Books
Gloucestershire Ethnic Minorities Achievement Service, (CIRCLE and TES) have been making multimedia, multilingual, talking books in partnership with local schools. These books provide an opportunity to involve ethnic minority children and their families and communities in sharing their language, culture and lifestyle with their class and school.
Children making family trips to home countries, and Traveller and Fairground children, have been provided with disposable cameras, and on their return record their experiences in a multimedia book that provides a valuable personalised curriculum resource.
These books can be as simple or complex as you wish to make them - from monolingual English - to multilingual, with voice recordings, sound effects, and even video clips.
For detailed information on making and using these, see 'Talking Books' (800k PDF format) article by Sheilagh Crowther.
The pictures below show how children at Kingsholm Primary School learn about Bangladesh with the help of a visiting pupil from Tredworth Junior School and the talking book My Visit to Bangladesh.
Talking books have also been used for Traveller children write about their lives.
We will be adding Traveller Tales and other resources related to Gloucestershire's Traveller community later in 2003.
Some of these resources will be available to loan from CIRCLE and TES on CDROM. However, much of the educational benefit of these resources lies in the process of making them as a project involving children, families and community.
For more information contact Sheilagh Crowther READS 01452 427261
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