This year we combined our Multicultural Week with Book Week. Like last year each teacher was asked to choose a country that they had a personal interest in or connection with and to find a story from that country to share with the children. The children were then given a passport which they used to travel around the school collecting a stamp from each of the countries chosen. Below are the countries that they all visited:
“I loved getting stamps from all the different countries in my passport.”
“We heard stories and found out interesting facts about countries we have never been to.”
Hedgehog – Both Mrs Walker and her husband were born in Scotland so she chose this country as she is passionate about it. With her the children looked at the Scottish flag with the St Andrews Cross. They talked about the thistle being the emblem of Scotland. They located Dundee and Edinburgh on the map. They looked at the landscapes, including mountains, rivers and lochs. Then they considered things that are traditionally associated with Scotland such as bagpipes, haggis and tartans and listened to some Scottish music. They learnt the story of the Loch Ness Monster and about famous Scottish figures like Robert Burns. The stories that Mrs Walker read were Katie in Scotland by James Mayhew and Hamish the Hairy Haggis by A. K. Paterson. The children then made Hamish the Haggis and the Loch Ness Monster.
Mouse – Mr Mills chose Sweden because he lived there for awhile. With him the children located Sweden on the globe and looked at its location in relation to the UK. They looked at Sweden’s flag and learnt how to say “Hi, how are you?” and “I’m very well thank you” in Swedish. He told the children a traditional Swedish fairy tale, The Old Hop Giant. The children in Reception and Year 1 then made a photo of the giant’s castle. They then went on a journey inside the castle and made a photo of one of the rooms they went in to. Year 2 children made a photo of the giant’s castle. They then received a phone call from the Prime Minister who wanted a team to make a memorial park on the original site of the story. They made this park together.
Owl – Miss Ward chose the USA because she is an American citizen. With her the children learnt about the American flag and what it stands for and they heard the Pledge of Allegiance which the majority of children have to recite each morning at school. They thought about modern America and the things we associate with it now. They focused on the state of Massachusetts, her home town, and learnt about its colonisation and role in the American Revolution. They looked at the Boston that tourists visit today and heard the story of Make Way For Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, which is about the bronze ducklings that are in Boston Public Gardens. The children then had the opportunity to try their own Boston or duck crafts – a Boston skyline headdress, a rocking duck, a duck mask or a duck puppet. The children were then able to make ducks or cityscapes with lego and other toys. The children in her class also interviewed Miss Ward’s mum about America. They had Ethan’s mum come in to tell them all about Mexico where his cousins live. Mr Bikliqi came in to tell them about his homeland Albania and played them his qifteli instrument. Mrs Craske also came in and told them about Wales where she was born, she taught them some Welsh words and let them try some yummy Welsh Cakes.
“I loved the story about the ducks in Boston and making my duck mask and puppet.”
Deer – Miss Humphrey chose Kenya as she has a friend who has been there and is interested in the wildlife and indigenous people herself. With her the children located Kenya on the map and looked at its location in relation to the UK. They learnt about the animals that live there and about the Masai culture. The children learnt to say hello, goodbye, cool and no worries in Swahili. She read them the stories Mama Panya’s Pancakes by Mary & Richard Chamberlin and Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe. The children then made Kenyan bracelets, flags and bookmarks.
Fox – Mrs Kieren chose Australia because her husband is Australian and she lived there for eight years; she still goes back for holidays. In her class the children learnt some simple facts about Australia. She read Reception and Year 1 children the story Tick Tock What’s Up Croc by Kim Michelle Toft. They learnt about Australia’s saltwater crocodiles and made a crocodile puppet. The children in Year 2 and her class listened to the story Where the Forrest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker. They looked at some of the creatures that live on the Great Barrier Reef and made mobiles with different sea creatures. Her class also listened to didgeridoo music and looked at Aboriginal dot paintings; they made and decorated their own cardboard didgeridoos. They also had a visit from Gaby’s mum who told them about Brazil; they made parrot masks and moved to Brazilian Samba music. Benjamin’s mum also came in and told them about Wales where she was born and let them try some yummy Welsh Cakes.
“I liked making crocodiles, dragons, ducks and tigers.”
Rabbit – Mrs Forbes and Mrs Spicker taught the children about Canada because they have both been there and felt that it is good for the children to see that other English speaking countries can be very different to the country they live in. They found Canada’s location on the map. They looked at the common habitats such as forests, lakes and mountains as well as some of the well known sights such as CN tower, Niagra Falls and the Yukon River. They read the children Rainbow Crow retold by Nancy Van Laan. The children then made a mobile of native birds and animals. They then worked on balancing the mobile by moving the position of the strings. Some of the children also tried some native dancing with Mrs Green.
Badger – Mrs Besenzi has been taking the children to Italy because her husband is Italian and she has spent a considerable amount of time there. She finds it to be a diverse, stylish and historical country. With her the children located the country on a map and found out that it takes fourteen hours to drive there. They learnt some Italian, including “Ciao bella / bello.” They discussed Italian food and woodcarving. She read them the story of Pinocchio, retold by Michael Morpurgo . The children then made a Pinocchio model with moving parts. They also made Italian bookmarks and designed Italian football shirts.
“I enjoyed making Pinocchio because I like to pull his nose backwards and forwards.”
Frog – Mrs Grey chose India because it is a country that has a rich heritage of traditional stories. With her the children looked at maps of India and the Indian flag. They looked at pictures of New Delhi, transport in India and the Taj Mahal. They looked at Indian animals and focused on the tiger. She read them the traditional story The Tiger Child retold by Joanna Troughton. Reception children then made tiger masks, tiger valentine faces and tiger colouring. They could also make tigers with playdough or play with Indian animals. Years 1 and 2 made tiger masks, tiger valentine faces, kitchen roll tigers, stand-up tigers and drew tigers.
Squirrel – Miss Yaxley chose China because it fit in with the Chinese New Year of the Horse and Year 2 topic on festivals. With her the children located China on the world map. They looked at the Chinese flag, as well as Mount Everest, the Great Wall of China and Chinese writing. She used a powerpoint and told the children the story of how the Chinese years got their names. The children then made a paper cup Chinese dragon puppet.
As well as travelling around the school the children also had Paul Jackson, a magical storyteller, come in to tell them stories from around the world using lots of interesting instruments. Adrian Hall came in to visit Year 1 and told them about his visit to Zambia and Malawi and riding on elephants. We all ended our week with a fun and energetic African drumming workshop with Njaga. We all had a wonderful week and would like to thank the Friends of Drayton Community Infant School who made the visitors possible!
“I liked banging the drums really hard and trying food from different countries.”
“I liked the story about how the spider got his thin legs; we had to jiggle and dance.”