At the SALT conference a few weeks ago I bought a fantastic new resource published by SCIAF (a bargain at just under £10.00).
I decided to use the resource with S1/2 and in discussion with RME we used it as a lead up to the S1/2 RME day on Rich World, Poor World and our 5th annual Equal Futures Day.
Classes started by having a discussion with their parents using these 3 questions
What do I already know about this topic?
What would I like to learn?
How will I share my learning?
We located the Congo on a map of Africa using the Smart Notebook file I created – this meant we could also look for the other French speaking African countries. Classes then started preparing their own answers to the familiar language questions in the pack – questions were printed onto card, the classes then wrote their own answers on the back and started to practise them. In class we practised using cooperative techniques, in particular the appointment system (class make 4 appointments and then work with their appointment partner depending on the time called out).
During this time the classes also started to do a little research into the Congo and we put the information gathered onto a map.
Once the class were confident in their own answers we listened to the answers given by Joseph and Aimée Joseph and Aimée and started to think about the similarities and differences between their lives and the lives of the children in the Congo.
Prior to the RME day we looked at Aimée’s blog posts to date, noticing first of all how quickly the posts went from everyday topics such as school to war. Using the Smartboard to model the skills needed we looked first of all at the posts in French – they are not simple language, but working in groups all managed to get the gist of the post and then find the English translation from a selection given, groups then stuck post its on to the posts showing
anything similar to your life
Some of this involved a level of thinking I don’t often get with s1/2 in my subject where they tend to be looking at very familiar topics and language – one group worked out that it probably costs the same to pay for a child to go to school in the Congo as it costs them to buy lunches in a week, they discussed how teachers in Scotland are paid (by taxes) compared to their families having to pay the schools direct. These were not always easy posts to read (“Tragically, it’s young girls and young women who are the main victims of the war in DRC. Young women between 14 and 25, are taken by force to be at the mercy of the militia. “) – S2 being slightly older were able to work out what that must mean, but it had to be explained to S1 and not so easy to explain to 11/12 year olds. Once each group had added post its to their own blog entry they had a look at each others and added anything they noticed.
And so we moved onto the RME Day – more about that tomorrow.