The Harmony Project – a print and use resource to get your students thinking and asking questions independently about cultural diversity in the classroom, local community and beyond. Interested in how it works? Read on…
Harmony Day is becoming one of the biggest days celebrated in Australian schools and personally we think it is a great one to jump on board – what could be more important than teaching our students the importance of living in harmony with everyone, differences aside.
Harmony Day in Australia is about coming together to foster a sense of belonging within your school and wider community. We believe the best way for primary students to do this is for them to get to know and understand different cultures, practices, beliefs and traditions, and how these should be respected and valued (Note: if you are not Australian, do not stop reading here! This project can be easily tweaked to suit any classroom worldwide and teach them the importance of respecting each other and our differences.)
The key values of respect, kindness and tolerance is what inspired us to create ‘The Harmony Day Project’. The aim of this project is to expose your students to an understanding of the cultural diversity your classroom, school, community, country and around the world in a fun. Best of all, it is age appropriate and student friendly. Students from Grade 3 and above could independently choose and work on projects in class time, as fast finisher tasks or as an extension activity.
The Harmony Day Project provides students with learning and investigation opportunities to develop an understanding of others. And it is through growing an understanding of others that students will begin to foster a respect and sense of importance that everyone belongs in our special and multicultural country.
About the Projects:
The 24 projects included are varied. Some projects require research, maths skills or talking to each other. Whilst others include reading, writing or reflecting. We have tried to vary the projects to cater for different age group or abilities, subject areas and time factors you may have within the classroom.
Projects range from looking at cultural diversity in your classroom, school, wider community and globally. The final two tasks are perfect to use as culmination tasks or whole class tasks to reflect and finish the Harmony Day Project.
Some examples of projects include:
Name and describe an important tradition celebrated in India.
Find a delicious traditional recipe you would like to try from a country in South America.
Collect data from your classmates about their family’s country of origin. Graph your results.
Each project is recorded on a heart foldable that you can put on display in your classroom. Instructions are simple and short so students to allow for students to choose and work on projects independently if needed.
How to implement in your classroom:
How you use this resource is up to you and your cohort of students.
Here are a few different ways we suggest you could use the Harmony Day Project:
1. Create a display (bulletin) board for your Harmony Day Project. Each day / week / morning meeting choose a ‘Project’ as a class to complete and add that project heart to your display. By the end of the project, your class will be able to visibly see the 24 ‘Harmony Hearts’ they have completed.
2. Create a display (bulletin) board with all 24 ‘Harmony Hearts’ displayed. Ask students to choose a project to work on. This will allow students to gravitate towards different projects that interest them most or suits their learning style. We suggest to use the mind map recording sheet for this method as it will allow students to document their thinking and findings while they are all working on different tasks.
3. Give one project to each student (differentiate according to difficulty of each task) – ask them to complete and report back as an ‘expert’ to the class community.
4. Complete each task as a whole class together.
It doesn’t matter how you decide to implement ‘The Harmony Project’ into your classroom, your students will benefit from learning that even though others may be different, it is the differences that add richness to our communities.
Other uses for this resource in your classroom:
This pack could also be used when celebrating International Day within your school community or any other special day the United Nations nominates that focuses on learning about and respecting diversity. (eg: International Day for Tolerance). It is also the perfect project to complement the Year 3 HASS unit about Celebrations, culture and commemorations.
The Harmony Day Project is designed to encourage students to think about the core values of Harmony Day and how they, as individuals, can contribute to a happier and peaceful world.
Harmony Day is celebrated in Australia on the 21st March. It is about celebrating cultural diversity, tolerance and inclusiveness of all Australians and coincides with the United Nations' International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Want to know more? View this resource here.