When I was testing the book out with our Stage 3 students, even the Stage 2 students were intrigued, although they only really discussed the red symbolism throughout, not the stronger themes about war/unrest in the Gaza Strip, but they came up with this digital slideshow:
Last year the School Libraries and Information Literacy Unit of NSW DET conducted a rap, Identity: Sharing Our Stories for Stages 3 and 4. Due to the success of this rap, via the Edublogs blogging facility, it is being run again this term!
The rap addresses outcomes in English, HSIE, PDHPE, Music and Aboriginal Studies. It draws on a range of contemporary texts, including personal stories, to explore Aboriginal perspectives on what builds strong identity. The rap is helpful for cultural understanding for all students. It also supports the Stage 4 secondary COG unit, “Cultural identity”.
Many teachers complain that they find it difficult to make sure they address Aboriginal perspectives in their programs correctly, and to find relevant resources to support their units of work in this area. Even if your school is not planning to participate, I would again urge teacher-librarians to visit the pages as the rap unfolds. Rapping is a great learning experience – for students, teachers, teacher librarians, AEOs (Aboriginal Education Officers) and community members. A range of excellent online resources is available, including: programming and planning, proformas, music, and online factual texts. This rap offers an excellent way to develop an educator’s familiarity with blogging as an educational tool, embedded in your program of work.
This year, our Year 5 students will be working in groups on the rap activities, and utilising our brand new interactive whiteboard (IWB), which is located in our library. Now that’s exciting! The new version of the Identity rap starts the week of 18 May 2009, and runs for about six weeks. Schools can use as much or as little, as suits their unique situations.
The NSW DET rap, Identity: Sharing Our Stories for Stages 3 and 4 is underway, the second such rap to be presented in a blog format (hosted by the School Libraries and Information Literacy Unit via Edublogs) rather than the traditional email and listserv arrangement.
It’s not too late to sign up a class group. Even if your school is not planning to participate, I would like to urge teacher librarians to drop by the rap and have a look at what I believe is going to be a great learning experience – for students, teachers, teacher librarians, AEOs (Aboriginal Education Officers) and community members. A range of excellent resources is available, including: programming and planning, proformas, music, and online factual texts with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People sharing their personal stories about what has formed their identities and has made them strong. Several of the participating schools have already posted their introductory, jointly-constructed, blog entries (see the section called “Intro”).
Many teachers complain they find it difficult to make sure they properly address Aboriginal perspectives in their programs, and to find relevant resources. The rap is also a great way to develop a familiarity with blogging as an educational tool. How I wish I had my interactive whiteboard already; at my school we are making do with a regular computer, and the students are highly motivated to rap together, and to read the posts from other schools.
Last term’s completed Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge book rap, also in blog format, is still available for comparison purposes. The “Teacher” section contains many “Frequently Asked Questions” about blogging. Also worth a look!