My Aboriginal Education inquiry focuses on how I can integrate AbEd both respectfully and authentically in to my teaching practice. One of the ways I have integrated AbEd in to my teaching practice is through stories.
“Learning is embedded in memory, history, and story.” -First Peoples Principles of Learning
In primary education, there are many opportunities to use rich literature to teach print awareness as well as oral and written language. One of the ways I integrated oral storytelling in to my practice was in my social studies unit on family. As I was browsing through the FNESC website one day I found a great lesson on family and decided I would try it out. I had the Aboriginal worker come in and tell the children about her childhood and family life. One of the things that the Aboriginal worker spoke of was the size of her family. She came from a family of 6 people and lived with her Grandparents. Like our routine story time at carpet, the children were able to make connections from her story to their own personal experiences; and this was a wonderful connection and comparison the children made to the size of their own family.
After she concluded her story, the students and I discussed what the word family means to them. We also discussed how families can be different and how they can be the same. During our discussion at carpet one child said “a family can be different if there is 1 mom, and a brother and a sister…no dad. But it’s o.k.” another child said “I have 4 people in my family and “student c” has 4 people in their family! We are the same!” This, along with several other remarks made our discussion rich in that it showed me that the children were developing a deeper understanding to the word family. It also lent itself nicely to my lesson I was about to introduce to the students.
The students were given a strip of white paper and were asked to draw each member of their family and write the corresponding number beside it. This cross-curricular lesson incorporated art education, social studies, and math.