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Asia Knowledge Ministry of Education

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Asia celebrations level 2

“Alternative world views exist (in New Zealand) with differing cultural aspirations, preferences and practices.”

– R. Bishop & T. Glynn, Culture Counts



Image of two Notanee dancers.

This unit of learning examines the concepts of identity, organisation, and culture using Asian celebrations as a context.

Celebrations are a part of the lives of all New Zealand students, regardless of background. This unit aims to open students up to a new understanding of cultures throughout the Asian region, while also examining the way that migrant communities celebrate in New Zealand.

Select from these resources in a way that best suits your classroom and school community. It allows for curriculum to be co-constructed with students. This resource gives all students a personalised knowledge base, and cements home school partnerships and enhances the status of diverse learners in the classroom learning community.

Learning opportunities

Overview of level 2
Brainstorming and questioning
Using photographs
Using objects
Using narratives
Compare and contrast
Creating and sharing

Teacher reflection

"I used this unit with my class and found it exceptionally easy to use with wonderful results. All of the four Asian parents in my class contributed to our learning. They were excited and truly encouraged to be invited to share their culture and celebrations with us. One mother, who spoke only a little English, teamed up with another mother to share. They brought calendars, lishi (the money envelopes for special occasions) clothing and examples of special food to show us. Their children dressed up and we sketched them in their clothes. We discovered the significance of their names and learnt about the special lunar cycle in China and the animals for each year.

Another mother came in and taught us many Chinese characters and explained about the flag. She read to us in Chinese and showed us different clothing. The children were entranced.

Our Indian mother sent special objects and clothing with her daughter to share.

All of the parents completed research and put effort into their presentations. Their children glowed with pride as they sat beside their parents and shared their knowledge with us. The mothers and children have felt empowered and validated and truly impressed that we have been discovering about their celebrations and culture. It has deepened the understandings our children have for their own celebrations and those of the Asian cultures. Their enthusiasm could be seen when many of us wore our Chinese clothes for mufti day. Other Chinese parents in our school community commented favourably upon this too and also shared information with us."

"The learning has been real, valuable and on-going."

– Teacher, Cornwall Park School

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