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Gathering information

 The use of primary resources and cross-cultural exchange strongly motivates students to find out about other people’s lives, asking questions, and making comparisons that lead to understandings of identity, place, and culture.

 "Making Students’ own lives a point of comparison supports access to new learning."

Best Evidence Synthesis in Social Sciences – connections

Asian child looking out of a car window.
Key competencies

Relating to others: children see themselves as part of a global community, and technology as a viable way of forming and maintaining relationships. Children show respect for other cultures, and want to share aspects of their culture with someone else.

Building conceptual understandings

 Students show increased conceptual understanding by formulating pertinent interview questions. They are able to contrast and compare their culture with another and see differences and commonalities.

Image "Take me out of here" (right) sourced from Flickr

Formative assessment opportunity

 Are students able gather relevant information? Are they able to ask pertinent questions? Do they see another perspective as enhancing their own? Can students successfully gather information from a range of sources?

Suggested activities

 Use the Epals website to access primary sources.

 Children can develop relationships with a school in their focus Asian country, and interview a student about their lives, and about local or national celebrations and their significance. Send an electronic 'culture package' to your e-pal, with images, music, voices and facts about your culture and celebrations. Encourage them to do the same.

 Join the class onto Skype and have real time conversations with students from any country in the Asia region, or members of your local community. Carry out interviews, share migration stories, compare celebrations at school, at home and in the community. Keep contact as you build the exhibition and collect artefacts.

The flat classroom project is an example of how Skype has been used to create these global conversations.

 Blogging is a great way to share writing, photographs, and relate to a worldwide audience. There are easy sites to use to set up a blog, so the students can do it themselves. Add some podcasts to share progress or ideas. Use the blog to share thought bubbles or ask questions that someone out of the school may be able to clarify.

Description of how to set up a video blog


Site of the Asia NZ Foundation, good background information as well as New Zealand specific information about Asian communities

Montgomery County Public Schools (US) provides a list of Asian resources

Ask Asia.org is an educational website covering 30 countries that comprise Asia today with resources from early civilisations to current events

 New Year festivals around the world:

Asian American Books.com explores lunar new year across Asia

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