Home and Shelter Issues Month: How You Can Participate – SHARE HERE!

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How you can participate

October 2014 is IATEFL Global Issues SIG special event – Home and Shelter Issues Month! For the second year in a row, we are holding a month-long online event. This is an asynchronous event, developed with the aim of sharing ideas about teaching English with a conscience, this year through the lens of “Home & Shelter”.

We would like to provide a platform where we can come together as a community of educators, teaching English through inspirational communication about real issues of concern to all global citizens.

This is a huge topic, with a wide range of possible topics:

  • Immigration / Migration / Displacement / Refuge
  • Homelessness / The streets
  • Poverty / Wealth distribution
  • Identity / Belonging
  • Family / Youth / Elderly / Generations
  • Domestic violence / Abuse
  • Global citizenship / Global community / Stories / Connections
  • Eco-housing / Sustainable homes & practices
  • Materialism / Consumerism

Share here!

The idea behind this month is to share lessons and strategies that raise awareness in your classes and your schools about issues relating to Home & Shelter. We deliberately chose a broad topic to allow flexibility of choice. As long as it’s about Home & Shelter issues (as opposed to, say, a lesson about your family tree), we’re interested.

This is where you can share your ideas, links, experiences, thoughts…

It’s simple. Just leave a comment and/or contribution below. We will be doing a weekly summary of these contributions, as well as those that come through our Facebook event page or Twitter.

Here is a grab-bag of ways you – teachers, teacher trainers, writers, classes – can take part.

1 Share an activity or lesson plan

Submit an activity or lesson plan idea to the Facebook page or right here. We’ll be reporting weekly highlights of these ideas here at our blog.

2 Inspire us to inspire our learners

Post a link to a picture, video, poem, game or website that links to one of these issues. Please state briefly what you would do with it. Again you can do this right here, or on the Facebook page, Twitter or Pinterest.

3. Share your thoughts, experiences, challenges

What is your personal context, interest, concern when it comes to teaching about Home & Shelter? What about your students? What are their experiences, fears and passions around these issues? Share your story, as an educator, or as a global citizen.

4 Teach one of these issues and tell us about it!

Teach a lesson based on one of the resources you see shared during the month and let us all know how it went. We can all learn from each other in this way.

5 Share the knowledge

We’d love to see some short book reviews or film reviews about any of these issues that can inform us as educators. If you’ve read or seen something that inspired you about the theme of Home & Shelter, please let us know.

6 Do some action research

Your students could perform a survey, create materials or something else. Share the results with us here!

7 Get creative

Make a real or virtual poster to link to the issue. We’d love to gather a collection of classroom-generated poster images in order to produce a feature on this for our website. You don’t need to restrict yourself to a static image; we’d love to see your own videos too (although please be aware we can’t show videos or photos of learners without permission here).

8 Take real action

Begin a Home/Shelter-related project at your school (e.g. organize a class fund-raiser for a refugee organization or homeless shelter, go into the field to help an NGO build an affordable habitat, hold a used furniture and home supplies swap or collection drive, organize a class mixer/awareness-builder with groups of students who have different types of homes or identities). Please share with us how it goes.

9 Link up with a Home & Shelter related non-profit organization

Make links between your class or school and a non-profit home/shelter organization. Invite a guest speaker, do a presentation, take the class on a field trip. Again, let us know how it goes.

AND FINALLY… Please spread the word!

This event will only be successful if we spread the word about it:

  • If we all made it a point to inform our own colleagues about what we are doing during this month, we could have a lot of exciting and diverse input!
  • Post a link to your school’s website.
  • Show your support by liking our Facebook Event page.
  • During the whole month of October please come back regularly to this page and Facebook to see what people are saying. We’ll be tweeting about it as well.

23 Responses to Home and Shelter Issues Month: How You Can Participate – SHARE HERE!

  1. Bill Templer October 1, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    WE LIVE IN AN ERA OF EVER MORE REFUGEES, FLEEING THEIR HOMES, THEIR COUNTRIES. TO FACE UNCERTAIN FUTURES, MUCH DEPRIVATION AND EVEN HUMILIATION. OFTEN LIVING IN TERRIBLE TEMPORARY SHELTERS, ABSOLUTE SQUALOR. You can teach the word ‘squalor’ relating to this theme.
    MANY DIVERSE AND CHALLENGING UNITS CAN BE CONSTRUCTED CENTERING ON SOME ASPECTS OF ‘REFUGEES, HOME & SHELTER’ AS STUDENTS PERCEIVE THIS—ESPECIALLY IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY.
    HERE SOME SUGGESTION FOR B1 LEVEL
    A BRIEF VIDEO FOCUS ON MELILLA

    Here a stark picture (from CNN) of the refugees fleeing Syria: **Europe’s most dangerous border for migrants homeless on the road?** Melilla, Spain (a small Spanish enclave in northeastern Morocco), with its huge barrier fence: goo.gl/QhMJoS Their plight is extreme. Most have left their home behind forever and find themselves in a physical limbo, inside a crowded Spanish enclave in North Africa, virtually imprisoned there.

    How do students see the question of refugees fleeing chaos and arriving in their own country? We have this challenge where I live. Where I am there is much fear in the local population, people don’t want refugee kids from Syria or Afghanistan in school with their own children. They have other fears as well, such as their children contracting some sickness from the refugee kids. They pass these anxieties also on to their children. Children begin to see the refugee children in their own city as **dangerous Others,** a foundation for racist attitudes.

    Does the religion of the refugees also play a role? Xenophobia against refugees, especially Muslims, is increasing in many parts of Europe, even in countries like Bulgaria, with the largest percentage of Muslim population in the EU. Students can learn the word xenophobia and discuss what it could mean. Their parents or other relatives, for example, may dislike certain groups of people right in their own town, village or large city. Do they hear these things at home?

    Ask students to imagine they have to f lee their homes because of the threat of violence? What would they take with them? What problems does a refugee family really face? Can students imagine such a situation? Suggest writing something **f I were a refugee with my family, I would probably ….**

    Something to discuss: **If refugee children were in our class at school, we could ask them …. We could learn about … ** (their own home and what it was like, what they miss, what they had to leave behind—like their books, their toys, their small beloved pets. These are questions that try to encourage a SENSE OF EMPATHY in learners. ‘Empathy’ is a major dimension of emotion and solidarity we can teach.

    • Bill Templer October 9, 2014 at 9:13 am #

      Benjamin Zephaniah talks and writes a lot about the problems of refugees. His novel Refugee Boy (2001 http://goo.gl/ho5Rti ) looks at that especially, focusing on the trauma of a 14-year-old Ethiopian-Eritrean boy in the UK. A recent stage adaptation of Refugee Boy done with playwright Lemn Sissay has had enthusiastic reviews, here one: http://goo.gl/q2eyjZ .

      In two interviews, Zephaniah (2014 http://goo.gl/7BjgoZ) speaks out strongly about racism against refugees, multiculturalism and immigration; Zephaniah (2011 http://goo.gl/ajPtQ5), esp. from min. 17:00, 32:15 also is incisive on this issue — extremely topical ever more so by the day at the present moment given the turmoil in West Asia, Ukraine and elsewhere.

      Students could read and discuss the novel Refugee Boy. What are the specific problems a teenager faces as a refugee who doesn’t know the local language in your own country? What does it means to be uprooted, an outsider as a young kid? Many EFL teachers in the UK, US are in part working with such refugee children. How well do they know their plight of homelessness?

    • Bill Templer October 9, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

      The forgotten children of Turkey’s Syrian refugee crisis
      The Dom (ethnic relatives of Europe’s Roma) live as an excluded ‘Gypsy’ population across West Asia, including eastern Turkey and Syria.
      Many Syrian Dom have fled as refugees and face discrimination even among other Syrian refugees in Turkey. The Dom children have a particularly hard life as homeless marginalized refugees, and this description is worth reading with students. Most outside the Arab world and Turkey will probably not have heard of the Dom, the ethnic relatives of the European Roma. http://goo.gl/iharRb

  2. Bill Templer October 1, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    Posters on one or another subtopic are useful as visual prompts for discussion, here one link to many re the homeless: goo.gl/Wahw0g

    this can also be inspiration for activity 7 above, making posters

    Some US states have a ‘homeless education office’ with a lot of ideas, handouts. Here one for the state of Washington: http://www.k12.wa.us/HomelessEd/ Various activities possible focused on education for homeless kids

  3. Bill Templer October 6, 2014 at 3:06 pm #

    Homes of the ‘Others’ : Lessons in Class and Ethnic Barriers and Difference

    An interesting question to explore with students is what other ‘homes’ outside their family they have ever been inside, how often and why. Of their friends, for example, and who their friends are.

    For example, many students everywhere have never been inside the home of the local ‘Others’ In Israel, most Jewish citizens have never been in the home of an Arab, an Arab’s friend’s family, for example. Since schools are rigidly segregated in Israel, that often means Jewish and Arab kids and teens never even meet.

    Across southeastern Europe, few learners from the majority population in Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece, have ever been in a Romani home. They probably have no Romani friends. This may also hold for their parents and relatives. I imagine the situation in Hungary in many towns reflects that. Sometimes less so in smaller villages.

    Many white Americans have never been in the home of an African-American, even in their own small town. Or perhaps the home of a Latino, or Asian American.
    Sometimes shame also plays a role. Kids are ashamed to invite a friend or acquaintance over to where they live. They are embarrassed about how poor things look, or about their parents, whatever. This can be a factor very hard to discuss, because it is so sensitive.

    So ethnic barriers among kids and teens (and adults), especially in cities, are very common across a lot of societies, And reflected concretely in whether a person has ever been inside the ‘home’ of someone from those Others. Even at a birthday party.
    Parents in many corners will also try to keep their children from getting too friendly with ‘Others’ because they don’t want, God forbid, for them to get romantically involved … ‘guess who’s coming to dinner’ is a catch phrase in American social folklore for that Inviting home your black boyfriend or girlfriend.

    Where I am, parents try very hard to make sure their kids don’t get involved with Romani boys and girls. Intermarriage here Rom/non-Rom is extremely rare I went to a wedding of Rom girl we knew, — extremely bright and beautiful, I think today in a leadership position in Sofia — to a Bulgarian boy. The boy’s family refused to come to the wedding party. Perhaps later they accepted her, but never accepted her parents and kin. The racism here very thick.

    It extends to the everyday social geography of ‘class in the home’ as well: few kids from more middle-class backgrounds have ever been in the home of kids from poverty backgrounds, in many places. Because they don’t live in the same neighborhoods, they don’t go to the same schools, they don’t meet and mingle. In the very same city. It is surely true where I live, and very true in the huge city I grew up in, Chicago.

    And of course religion, depending on the society you are in and its given mix of religions and the barriers between them. This is reflected powerfully in a youngster’s lived experience.

    Recall yourself, now as a teacher, when you were growing up whose ‘homes’ outside your own family and closest friends you ever entered. It is the issue of social and cultural division and segregation that is very common in many places, and clearly reflected in the ‘social geography’ of homes and housing. And people’s everyday networks of social contact.

    To discuss this in classrooms in many towns in Bulgaria is a very ‘sensitive’ issue. Teachers will avoid it and know why.

  4. Margit October 13, 2014 at 8:59 am #

    There is an amazing book of photos called MATERIAL WORLD by Peter Menzel. It shows where and how people live in different parts of the world. The pictures speak for themselves and lend themselves to a variety of classroom use. Just google the key words to find some of the pictures on the net. Below is an excerpt from an interview by Peter on the book.

    Where did you get the idea for Material World?

    PETER: Sitting in my office early one morning, listening to National Public Radio […] I heard an amazing piece on the marketing of Madonna’s autobiographic book called SEX. The book was a sensation in the U.S. The radio report ended with Madonna singing, “I am living in a material world and I am just a material girl,” or something close. I thought it was spot on. We live in an idiotic capitalist self-indulgent society where the sex life of a pop star is more important than impending starvation, land mines and child soldiers in Africa, or more interesting than the world’s biggest man-made natural disaster in oil fields of the Middle East.

    Quite literally, it took about a minute to come up with the concept and title for Material World: dozens of statistically average families from every corner of the world take all their stuff outside of their house for a big portrait.

    This way, all of my fellow, greedy, shallow American neighbors could compare themselves to the rest of the world and see if they were really better off. I also got the idea for an interactive CD-ROM at the same time.

  5. Bill Templer October 13, 2014 at 10:23 pm #

    here some of menzel’s pics http://goo.gl/MtfNXm

    • Joyce White October 27, 2014 at 11:30 pm #

      Thanks for your posts, Margit and Bill.

      I have used Peter Menzel’s lovely book “Material World” as a trigger for a writing task with lower intermediate students in an intensive English program in Vancouver, BC. As many of the students have not travelled extensively and are often quite young, they may not have thought in a “critical” way about families, homes and possessions.

      For this task, students are asked to select two of the photos (I have selected about 12 to work from) and are given the directions below:

      1. Study the photographs. Use your powers of observation to find similarities and differences between the living conditions of the two families.

      2. Ask yourself some of the questions below:
      a) Are both families rich? Why? Why not?
      b) How do they make their food? How do they eat it?
      c) Are the families large or small?
      d) Do the families spend a lot of time together?
      e) How do the families get along with their neighbors?
      f) Are the families happy? Why? Why not?

      3. Think of some other ways in which the families are similar and different.

      The students are then asked to write a comparison/contrast composition about the two families, of course using the grammar and transitions which we’ve been practicing for this type of writing. This activity can work equally well as a discussion for a speaking/listening class.

      The interesting (to me, anyways) outcome of this task is that afterwards, students are quite ready and able to engage in a discussion about material possessions, happiness, family size, extended families and differences between cultures. A close look, for example, at the beaming faces of the family photo from Bhutan is enough for students to start to think about life in a family that part of a culture different from their own, perhaps both a poorer and a richer family life.

  6. Bill Templer October 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

    EBOLA HOME & SHELTER POE’S TALE OF THE RED DEATH

    One of Edgar Allan Poe’s most striking tales anticipates the Ebola epidemic in an uncanny way. Written in the late 1840s, The Masque of the Red Death begins:

    THE ‘Red Death’ had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal — the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.

    But the Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his castellated abbeys. …

    Here the full tale: http://poestories.com/read/masque
    Here the tale in simpler VOA Special English:
    http://www.tingvoa.com/html/20120129/63641.html

    EBOLA HOME & SHELTER The Ebola epidemic is having a terrible impact on the ‘home’ across West Africa. It is destroying families, and driving people out of their homes, separating children from their parents and loved ones. When a family member dies, people fear to continue living in their home. Mothers are sending their children away to protect them — or to protect themselves. In Dallas in the U.S., when an Ebola victim died, his apartment was opened and much of the furnishings were removed and burned to ‘disinfect’ his home and building. Now the authorities in Texas are unsure where to dispose of the ashes.

    Look at Menzel’s photos of some families as Margit mentions — but imagine they have to burn all their things in the house or apartment because someone has fallen ill with Ebola in their close family. Probably this is happening in Sierra Leone and Liberia.

    Ask students to Imagine being in such a situation, in a home in danger of being struck by a lethal plague. In a home gripped by fear of bodily contact, even with family members who seem healthy. In Poe’s story, the prince and his friends flee their homes and retreat into his strange secluded castle to hide from the epidemic, seeking shelter, safety and *amusement* there (but in vain).

  7. Sylvia Ozbalt October 21, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    I would like to to share a couple of lesson ideas related to Home and Shelter issues in my part of the world, and certainly (and sadly) transferrable to many of our cities around the world. The content objective is to expand awareness of the growing gap between the rich and the poor and of the contradictions and disparities that can exist in our very own contexts. Some linguistic objectives are listed at the bottom.

    Vancouver, Canada, is regularly listed among “the world’s most livable cities”:

    http://www.economist.com/blogs/graphicdetail/2014/08/daily-chart-13

    http://news.nationalpost.com/2011/02/22/vancouver-is-the-worlds-most-livable-city-for-a-fifth-straight-year-survey/

    Ironically, and unfortunately, Vancouver’s Downtown East Side (DTES) is at the same time known as “Canada’s poorest postal code”, with a deep and complex socio-economic history and inter-related outcomes that include addiction, prostitution and homelessness:

    http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2010/02/04/sports/olympics/20100205-EASTSIDE_index.html

    But more than that, it’s also a real and vibrant community:

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/residents-say-its-community-not-tragedy-that-defines-downtown-eastside/article10673184/

    English classroom activities:

    1.Introduce/elicit PARSNIPS-type vocabulary, slang (addict, brothel, shoot up, SRO, slumlord, dumpster diving, etc.)

    2.Field trip and guided tour (listening, question forms) and/or online research of the DTES (reading, listening)

    3.Post field trip writing assignment and /or in-class discussion or seminar and/or project or presentation. Compare/contrast DTES with:
    •another Vancouver neighborhood
    •your own neighborhood
    •a poor neighborhood in your country
    •your initial impression of Vancouver

    4.Essay:
    •What are the possible causes of homelessness? What are its possible results?
    •What could/should/must we do to solve the global problem of homelessness?
    •What would you do if you found yourself homeless?

    5.Action:
    •Students organize a fund-raiser for the local organization(s) working with the homeless
    or a collection drive for food, clothing, etc.
    •Students share their research with another class to spread the word.

    Language: Question gambits, comparatives/superlatives, PARSNIPS vocabulary, modals, cause and effect essay, persuasive essay, conditionals, speculation, language of persuasion and selling, numbers

    • Hussain Luaibi October 25, 2014 at 2:47 am #

      Hi Sylvia
      Splendid! I think one of the most effective ways of teaching learners about the Home and Shelter Issues is taking them on a field trip. A guest speaker ( not a teacher or a researcher) from a poor drug-stricken areas would give more information than a lot of classically structured classes. I know it is hard to arrange but …doable.

    • Ingrid Schechter October 27, 2014 at 3:12 am #

      Here’s a short video clip a low-intermediate level class made this August after visiting a First nations’ homelessness protest camp in Vancouver, BC:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-IMFi7ojMQ
      Just used an ordinary video camera, some cardboard and markers, and a lot of discussion and rehearsal!

  8. Bill Templer October 23, 2014 at 11:53 am #

    For Roma migrants from Romania, Bulgaria and elsewhere into France, Belgium, homelessness is a lurking danger. As itinerants in motion they have no ‘home’ in any case. France is now moving to evict a Roma settlement outside of Paris, and Amnesty International as well as other groups have spoken out against this. See the Press TV brief report, which also has visuals: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/22/383188/france-eviction-of-roma-camp-dangerous/

    Pupils can see a bit how the Roma are living in this makeshift camp, and comment. How would they feel as migrants on the road in a strange country, whose language they don’t know? There is also text with the video that intermediate students can read. Many of these families have kids your own students’ age.

    • Xiaobing October 28, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      Dear Bill,

      In the school I am teaching, 22% of the total students are EAL students, and the Roma from Slovakia is majority.

      I’ve talked to a few Roma, and they don’t particularly mind moving, as part of their culture. They have a very strong sense of belonging to their own community, rather than the outside world.

      In comparison, to a few girls from Iatvia and Poland I have been teaching, moving houses is a painful experience, even a trigger for some abnormal behavior. So I have to be very careful about the topic.

  9. Bill Templer October 24, 2014 at 12:15 pm #

    A major group in Israel and the West Bank who live often on the edge, their homes endangered, their settlements deemed ‘illegal’, are the Negev Bedouin. Here a brief article on one small group of Bedouin refugees from southern Israel, living in the West Bank, faced with uprooting: http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/10/israel-planning-mass-expulsion-of-bedouins-from-west-bank/ Many Bedouin settlements inside Israel, in the southern desert and in Galilee in the north, are also ‘unrecognized’ by the Israeli state, and subject to huge restrictions (often no connection with water, electricity, standard roads.

    Bedouin traditionally were migratory (nomadic) shepherding tribes throughout much of the Arab world, their homes: tent settlements in the desert. But often they became sedentary and engaged in agriculture, as in Palestine before the creation of the Israeli state. Or have been urbanised, integrating into city life and its economy. Here more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bedouin

  10. Cristina Peralejo October 25, 2014 at 5:47 pm #

    The Homestay Experience of International Students… how can we help our students understand the role they play in international economical, political and cultural exchange?

    I like the idea of talking using the students’ own experiences as a segway to delve into the more complex issues of Home and Shelter—particularly, their own experiences in homestay.

    For those of us who teach international students, we realize how important the homestay experience truly is for our students, and yet, as instructors only hear snippets of what life is like for these students in passing in the classroom.

    I think that a class project on the homestay family experience might be a truly personal and transformative experience for students, homestay families, teachers, and perhaps even the school community as a whole.

    I thought something like a mindmap could be brainstormed with the class from this question: What is involved in the homestay experience?

    Homestay Factors:
    – economic
    – political
    – cultural
    – experiences

    Students could divide into small research groups and find out how these different aspects all come together into a united whole. Students may conduct a school survey on first hand accounts of students’ experiences in homestays. Web-based research may be carried out to discover how much money homestay families bring in per year in that particular country. In depth interviews may be undertaken to discover what types of cross-cultural exchange takes place between students and families.

    Presentations made to the class or the school as a whole would be a way for students to understand more about how their unique experience is tightly tied to the economic, political and cultural tide of the times.

    • Victoria Brown October 26, 2014 at 7:32 pm #

      I like Cristina’s idea- I worked as a homestay coordinator at OttawaU for about six months, and even with my background in ESL, I was surprised at how many of the issues I dealt with were related to students and families having different cultural backgrounds, and expectations that went along with these. Adding to what Cristina wrote, you could also prepare students for a homestay project by giving them different scenarios of fictional issues that arose for a homestay student or family, and get the students how to brainstorm how either the student or family could best deal with the situation at hand.

      On a different note, my mother is a social worker and a homeless person she worked with gave her this link to thank her for the shelter she’d helped provide for him. It’s a video for “Gimme Shelter” by a wonderful group called Playing for Change. The video is heartwarming and features singers from all over the world playing the song- a number with musical instruments traditional to their cultures.

      Link is: http://youtu.be/GJtq6OmD-_Y

      In classes, I’ve often used the video to segue into a discussion on the meaning of shelter. I usually get it started asking students to discuss the Irish proverb that is shown at the video’s beginning: “It is in the shelter of each other that other people live.”

  11. Bill Templer October 29, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    This new book edited by E. Arizpe et al. describes a major very international research project with immigrant children in several different countries responding to Shaun Tan’s wordless graphic tale THE ARRIVAL (2006), about leaving home and homeland as an immigrant: Visual Journeys Through Wordless Narratives: An International Inquiry With Immigrant Children and The Arrival (Bloomsbury, 2014). Shaun Tan also wrote the foreword to this book. Very relevant to the broader theme of Home & Shelter, children as immigrants and children’s literature. Here a link to some of the book: http://books.google.bg/books?id=76lQAwAAQBAJ&hl=bg&source=gbs_book_other_versions

    This could also inspire teachers to use Shaun Tan’s prize-winning wordless graphic novel in their own classes, eliciting responses from children or teens and also discussing the theme of emigrating from home to a new country and totally new home and perhaps even culture.

    This the publisher’s blurb: “Immigration is an ongoing, global phenomenon and schools and teachers in host countries must continually find new ways of working with the increasing numbers of immigrant pupils, including refugees and asylum seekers. Language and literacy are crucial for inclusion in a new context but these must be developed in spaces where these children feel safe to explore themes that resonate with their experiences; to express their understanding and to engage in intercultural exchange.

    Visual Journeys Through Wordless Narratives presents the exploration of response strategies to Shaun Tan’s The Arrival. The inquiry was carried out in educational settings, with children from many different parts of the world, in four host countries: the UK, Spain, Italy and the USA. The findings reveal the benefits of using wordless narratives such as picturebooks and graphic novels together with visual strategies to support immigrant children’s literary understandings and visual literacy. They also reveal the wealth of experiences the children bring with them which have the potential to transform educational practices.”

    Here Shaun Tan’s own synopsis of his tale: “A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope.”

    Many lesson plans can be devised depending on the age and background of your pupils. In Bulgaria, where many teens plan to migrate given the present chaos in the country, the theme of the story is very central to their own dreams and the lives of a number of their own relatives and friends.

  12. Eilidh Singh October 29, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    Here’s something random: animals are often in need of shelter too, and are often overlooked in times of disasters or economic hardship. Here’s a tee to support a homeless shelter for cats. I was reminded of it with Victoria’s song post for Gimme Shelter: http://teespring.com/gimmesheltertees#pid=243&cid=1528&sid=front

    Also, this year the Massey lectures here in Canada by former Governor General and former broadcaster and journalist Adrienne Clarkson are on Belonging- the Paradox of Citizenship: http://www.cbc.ca/ideas/episodes/massey-lectures/2014/11/10/belonging-the-paradox-of-citizenship-lecture-1/
    It airs November 10th, and could be used by some language instructors for some pretty interesting classes!
    Here’s the reading list for the Massey lectures: http://www.cbc.ca/books/2014/09/the-2014-massey-lectures-reading-list.html

    Finally, here’s a writing competition which involves talking about your true story of belonging: http://www.cbc.ca/books/canadawrites/2014/09/stories-of-belonging-writing-challenge.html#mid=&offset=&page=&s=
    It may just be for Canadians though!

  13. Eilidh Singh October 29, 2014 at 9:54 pm #

    This is one of my favourite poems. The poet is Guyanese. It’s a good riff on ‘belonging’ and ‘not belonging’ and not allowing others to define you.
    http://www.images.hachette-livre.fr/media/contenuNumerique/036/3482565790.pdf – the poem
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ywy-Tthdg7w –the artist reciting it

  14. Eilidh Singh October 30, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    The recent referendum on Scottish Independence brought up a lot of discussion on identity, belonging, changing definitions of nationalism, what that means to whom, and how the media can influence the electorate. This piece, called ‘The News Where You Are’, is a witty, satirical deconstruction of network news attitudes in the UK. It could be used to generate discussion on how students think they are perceived regionally, nationally, and internationally, and whether they think the media presents a fair representation of their corner of the globe. Or not!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhL57cjN8xY

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  1. Home & Shelter Issues Month Summary | Global Issues SIG - October 29, 2014

    […] Language is taught in the context of these goals. Example: Write, using conditionals: “IF I were a refugee with my family, I WOULD probably …” (see a rich series of posts by Bill Templer on the Home & Shelter blog). […]

  2. Home & Shelter Issues month final SUMMARY | Global Issues SIG - November 14, 2014

    […] the complete discussions, please go to the dedicated Facebook page and/or the Home & Shelter blog and/or Carla Arena’s Pinterest […]

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