TAF >> Teaching Materials >> Online Publications

INTRODUCTION
PART I Myself & the Neighborhood
  Myself & Neighborhood
  Community Quilt
  The Mail Carrier
  Let Your Fingers Do the Walking
  The Sign Walk
  Who I Am
  Baking Bread with the Little Red Hen
PART II Exploring Systems
  What's in a Thumb
  Parts of You
  Puzzles Are Systems
  How Many Systems Do I Belong To Right Now
PART III Communicating with Others
  Talking with our hands
  Lullabies link people
PART IV Myself and the Larger World
  Move, Feet, Move
  The Challenge of the Desert
  Planning a Park
  Communication Tools
  TV or Not TV
  Missing the Point
  Who Likes Animals
  A Simple Chocolate Bar

INTRODUCTION TO MYSELF AND OTHERS

   

The activities here are divided into those for primary grades (Part 1) and intermediate grades, (Part 4). Parts 2 and 3 provide connecting links with activities that can be used at practically all grade levels. You can best decide which materials fit your needs and the learning readiness of your students.

All the materials have been tested in classrooms in various parts of the country. The development process has reflected the reactions of teachers and students and appropriate changes have been made. We have included here only those activities that have proved engaging for children while also providing important learning experiences.

Much of that learning will be familiar, and development of basic skills is always an aim. The goals of this material areöto provide experiences that will better prepare children for the kind of society and world they will be living in.

Children will:
  • become aware of interconnections between themselves and others
  • develop a positive image of themselves and of the groups to which they belong
  • recognize the importance of cooperation in the interdependence of the classroom, the neighborhood, the city
  • become more familiar with conflict in a nonthreatening way (for example, by learning how rules provide us with a way to resolve conflicts fairly and quickly)
  • develop a mental image of systems and understand how that image can help them make sense of new experiences.

With the lessons in Part 3, children will begin to see that interconnections and human commonalities extend to people throughout the world, not just people in their immediate surroundings. They will learn some ways people everywhere communicate with each other and help meet one another's need for affection and a sense of belonging.

In the intermediate grade activities, children develop more complex perceptions about

  • how people express and manage conflict
  • different ways we communicate and fail to communicate
  • basic needs and interests shared by people everywhere

It is probably better to use the activities of any one part in a sequential order; later activities often build on earlier ones. However, teachers have been successful in using selected materials in random patterns, fitting them in where they meet the needs of their classrooms.
It is hoped that these lessons will be a catalyst for your own ideas about global perspectives instruction. Obviously each school and community has its own unique composition. By tailoring these lessons and others to your own classes' needs and interests, and by utilizing your school and community resources, you will be able to provide children with a variety of meaningful curriculum experiences.

PART I Myself and the Neighborhood
Activities for primary grades, developed by Alexis Aquino-Mackles.

PART II Exploring Systems
Activities for all grade levels
Developed by Alexis Aquino-Mackles and Project Teachers.

The concept of systems is related to the larger concept of interdependence. It is one of those key concepts which students can use to help organize information÷a learning tool that will be useful to them throughout and beyond their years of schooling. A child who has a concept of a heating unit of a house as a system, or the game of baseball as quite a different system, has a good mental image for analyzing larger, more complex systems: the ecology of a lake, the economics of a community, the government of a nation.

In simplest terms, students will become aware of systems as things or groups made up of interconnected and mutually dependent parts. If one part fails to function properly, the whole system will be affected. This seems like an easy idea÷and it is, once children have that beginning model in their minds.

In a short space of time, they will be discovering systems on their own; they will be using the concept to help make sense of the world around them.

As with any abstraction, this concept can be grasped only when applied to concrete and specific examples. In these activities students will be discovering the working systems in their bodies and in their immediate surroundings. They will be becoming familiar with this organizing tool and learning to use it. These materials can be used to introduce the concept to older as well as younger students-in fact, some activities have been used effectively with high school students and adults.



PART III Communicating with Others
Activities for all grade levels
Developed by Margaret S. Branson.

By now, your students have explored a variety of ways they are interconnected with other people÷in the school, in the neighborhood and in the community. This awareness will be expanded in the activities in Part 3. Children will begin to recognize similarities between their lives and concerns and those of people in other cultures, both present and past.

In this lesson, "Talking with Our Hands," they will experiment with nonverbal communication. This can help them to understand language as the key element in human culture.

The second lesson, "Lullabies Link People," will enable students to discover some very important things they have in common with people everywhere. By this age, they have already gained impressions of ways people are different. It is very important for them to understand and appreciate ways in which all people are also alike.

PART IV
Myself and the Larger World Activities for intermediate grades,
developed by David C. King.




| Programs | Teaching Materials | Publications | Links | Newsletter | Inside TAF |
| The China Project | New York & the World | SEC |


Copyright ©
2000 The American Forum for Global Education