Just a quick reflection on a tuning in activity I did with the class this afternoon. We're starting a new Inquiry unit titled "Why Is The World Coming To Adelaide?" which has a focus on examining the impact multicultualism has had on this city over time. So, the starting point is to help define "the World" with the students. Yesterday I had the kids pore over a unlabelled world map to see how much geographical knowledge they collectively possessed. We finished up that session with a discussion around reasons why some countries were easier to identify than others.
Then I gave them a simple homework task.
Pick a media source and gather some statistics from a news source (television, newspaper, web) about which countries were mentioned and how often.
The efforts ranged from a quick glance at the local paper to one enterprising student who recorded three different news programs on the family HD recorder and then scanned through them all to gather her stats. We then dropped those results into Wordle to generate this image:
So, I finished the lesson by posing the following questions to the class. "So, what does this tell us? Why do some countries feature so prominently in our news sample? Why are some countries barely mentioned or not noticed at all? What theory do you have?"
Any other classroom teachers elsewhere in the world who'd be willing to try this quick exercise and share the results with me and my class?