Week 8: Identity & Place

The final week has arrived. It’s bitter sweet! I’ve learned so much of the past 8 Wednesday’s from working with the grade 6 class at Palliser Heights. This last week was an awesome note to end on, because it was a lesson that helped me to gain a much better idea about who my students are and where they’re coming from, and it left me all the more excited to go back to them in the new year!

The final lesson I taught was in social studies. I was a little bit nervous about teaching this subject because I haven’t take a specific Ed class for it, and I also find it a really important subject and wanted to make sure I did it right. We were learning about the relationship between place and identity. We started with some reading together as a class from the saskatchewan textbook. One of the perks with this class is that they’re very good at having good discussions, so a communal reading of the textbook followed by questions was a really great way to start the class. We talked about how growing up in our part of the world influences who we become as people compared to those who grow up in developing countries. We talked about social structures, such as family, school, sports teams or religious institutions and how they might influence the way we learn or what we value.

I gave them an assignment were they were supposed to outline a social structure of their own. They drew a picture of their face and had branches coming off of it, each outlining a social structure. They made a web of detailing all the various people they interact with in those social structures, as well as some of the things they learn from those structure.

They also spent some time thinking about what their roles were in society. Almost all put that they were a son or daughter, as well as a student, while others may have also put a position on a sports team that they played. They also had to think of some future roles that they hoped to have i.e father, engineer, volunteer. They then had to write about how their current social structure was going to equip them to acquire those future roles. For example they talked about how school was going to give them the skills they needed to get into university, which would eventually teach them to become a doctor.

The assignment and discussion went fairly well and I was satisfied with the depth of thinking the students engaged in. My co-op agreed that it went over well, but also commented that most grade 6 classes may not have been able to perform as well as hers did, since hers was generally a more focused group than most. Figuring out what is too hard or not hard enough for the average grade 6 class is something I’m still trying to figure out, but I was happy that I was able to come up with something that challenged this particular class but that it was a challenge that they could meet.

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