SIS News Archive

6th Graders Introduced to the United Nations in Humanities
Posted 09/28/2017 08:39AM
Sixth grade students are introduced to the United Nations and work towards—Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity For All in Humanities.

We have just completed our first unit in grade 6 Humanities, called 'Express Yourself.' During this unit, students delved into their ancestral heritage and culture/s to consider beliefs, values, norms and taboos as they apply to their own personal identity. 'Express Yourself' culminated with an in-class presentation linked to the United Nation's International Day of Peace (September 21).

Students were initially introduced to the United Nations and its purpose through discussion of 'global matters' and 'goals for the world.' They then explored the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. We discussed how these goals are integral to achieving peace in our time, and what we could do as individuals to contribute towards their success.

Students presented to their peers their ideas as to why learning about other cultures is important, not just as students in an international school, but also as citizens of the world working towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and this year's UN Peace Day Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All. Then, they celebrated their own ancestral heritage by presenting their research into the beliefs, values, norms and taboos of their own ancestral culture/s. Students compared and contrasted their own culture/s with another culture of choice — which stretched their research skills and challenged them as readers to look beyond stereotypes and the more visible elements of culture to truly unearth the more invisible elements of their culture/s. Mrs. Elliott, the secondary librarian created a research LibGuide to guide research. Through this LibGuide, students were introduced to and encouraged to use the databases and our non-fiction section of the library for their research.

Presentation skills were also developed as Mr. Alex Gutierrez, a learning innovation coach team-taught 'how to use technology and multimedia to clarify presentations.' This was evident as many presentations were almost professional in quality with clean and clear use of applications such as Spark Video and Keynote.

The presentations themselves were informative, fun and delicious. Some students created 'experiences' for their peers to share beliefs, values, norms and taboos of cultures, such as: an Easter egg hunt and 'kick the radish'—a new year tradition. Many students brought in traditional foods to share, such as: mooncakes, brigadeiro, vegemite crackers, dumplings, hummus, pumpkin pancakes, crunchy lentils, sushi, soybean yoghurt, rye bread, kimbap, roti canai and many more... Other students dressed in traditional clothing for their presentation. Most students presented their own family photos to clearly apply these beliefs, values, norms and taboos to their own identity.

These presentations were a truly glorious exhibition of students ability with research, reading, speaking and listening, not to mention the ESLRs.

On Peace Day itself, 6th grade was invited by Ms. Paula Brunning, high school counselor, to partake in activities with Ms. Bacigalupo and 11 Metal during Advisory time. This added a beautiful cross-school dimension to the 6th graders' learning about Peace Day. 25 6th graders volunteered to be part of this celebration and headed up to the third floor to play some quick and engaging games.

"This was all done in the spirit of continuing to build community at SIS. Older students may look intimidating to younger students, but when the junior advisory got together with the middle school students, the room was a buzz with laughter and friendly smiles and words. The inspiration for the time these students spent together came from Mother Theresa: Peace begins with a smile." - Ms. Jamie Bacigalupo (11 Metal Advisor)

By Lisa Jenkin and Danielle Gahr
Grade 6 Humanities Teachers

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Shekou International School

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