Questioning and discussion – Students build relationships through the exploration of the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their classmates.
- To encourage students to explore the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their classmates.
- For students to engage with classmates with whom they would not usually engage.
- Copy an activity sheet for each child in the group.
- Plan to conduct the activity in an area conducive to the children moving about freely and talking to each other (it should be fairly noisy!).
What to do
- Introduce the activity as one which will help the class learn more about each other.
- Distribute the activity sheets and go through the items to make sure everyone understands them.
- Encourage children to ask supplementary questions of their classmates to gain additional information (this is a conversational activity; not a race!).
- Give the children a timeframe for the activity, but be flexible if they continue to be engaged with each other.
- Stress that they are to aim to get a different respondent for each item, if possible.
- Monitor the children as they move around the space talking to each other.
- Share the responses in the whole group.
- Ask the students if any of the responses surprised them.
- Follow up in greater depth on any of the topics of particular interest to the children.
- Have the children devise their own list of questions/items.
- Visit another class to conduct the activity.
Our Diverse Classroom Activity Sheet
Find someone who…||
|Has travelled to New Zealand|
|Can count to 5 in Japanese|
|Comes from an island in the Pacific|
|Can name 4 different styles of pasta|
|Has a parent who was born in Asia|
|Can say ‘hello’ in 5 different languages|
|Knows the name of the local Indigenous people|
|Plays a sport that originated in England|
|Knows the main religion of Indonesia|
|Can name the head covering worn by some Muslim women|
|Has a grandparent born in Australia|
|Can name 5 different herbs and spices|
|Likes nachos, burritos and other Mexican food|
|Knows the country in which St Patrick’s Day originated|
|Has eaten at an Indian restaurant|
|Can name 1 country that borders China|
|Speaks another language at home|
|Can name 3 different French foods|
|Has a parent who was born in Europe|
|Takes off their shoes before entering their home|
Adapted from a Living in Harmony Funded Project, ‘All Together Now’, Churches’ Commission on Education, WA, 1999.