Speaking, listening and literacy

Language is crucial for making sense of our world, and for communicating our ideas and feelings about it. This section contains activities and resources to explore global themes while developing skills and confidence in oracy, literacy and drama.

Language is dynamic.  It allows us to express our emotions, satisfy our curiosity, make friends and find things out.  Language is one of the principal means by which we can explore the world around us and find out who we are.  It helps us develop relationships with people and places we have not seen, and understand how we are connected.  It involves us as active participants in expressing a viewpoint, and influencing others.

Throughout this academic year, Tide~ will have a strand of work focussed on story: developing classroom activities for using fiction to explore global themes, and exploring creative ideas for children to become story makers and story tellers.  To find out more about how you can get involved in these activities, contact info@tidec.org

Speaking and listening for a purpose

Ideas about justice, conflict and human relationships will always stimulate powerful responses from children, and are a rich focus for developing quality talk.  ‘Global learning in primary schools’ offers a huge range of downloadable teaching activities on speaking and listening to explore global connections link.  

The publication, ‘Fat Felts and Sugar Paper’  draws on work at KS2 to share approaches for speaking and listening about issues.

‘English and ESD’ includes a huge range of online teaching ideas and CPD stimuli, including suggestions about using topical events to look critically at news texts, supporting children to speak with clarity and confidence about their views on how the world might be.

Using story to explore global issues

‘Start with a story’ offers a wealth of teaching ideas for using storybooks as a springboard for exploring global issues.  Designed for use at Key Stage 1, all activities are readily adaptable for older – and younger – learners. 

‘A Different Story’ builds on these approaches, to support work with KS2 children making imaginative use of fiction texts.

Further teacher resources on using story include downloadable teaching activities and CPD material, with a strong emphasis on identity and diversity.

The resource ‘A Different Story’ uses biographical texts as a starting point for writing about the achievements of people from all over the world who have lived in Britain.

The article 'Many songs and many stories' looks at images of Africa in music and storytelling.  Using and making story is a key theme in Tide~ teacher group activity, including courses and projects.  See CPD section for details.

Global learning through Drama

‘Rehearsing our roles’ provides a toolkit of activities to support children in exploring different possibilities and viewpoints safely, through the use of drama based activities.   ‘Drama and role play  - looking into an issue’ offers some complementary ideas, based around tension over land use in Mali, West Africa.

The resource ‘Learning journeys’  describes a curriculum project which combined Theatre in Education approaches with learning outside the classroom, to create powerful opportunities for children to investigate the ethics and issues around historical and modern day ‘plant hunters’.

Using images as a stimulus

A powerful image can inspire a range of emotions and generate vast amounts of purposeful and engaged discussion, questions and responses.  Harnessing this quality talk is a good starting point for outstanding written work, as well as for further enquiry. A range of downloadable activities supports ‘Talking about photographs’ Link to support materials for ‘Global learning in primary schools’.   ‘Young children and global citizenship’ shares ideas about using photographs to elicit children’s existing ideas about the world at KS1. 

Tide~ working groups have produced many photo packs over the years, offering ideas for using photographs, and supported by sets of high quality images.  These include 'Family Album', ‘Water Issues ~ local & global’, and the primary Science resource ‘A world of Investigations’.

Developing questioning and enquiry

A starting point for many discussions about global issues has been the Development Compass Rose [DCR].  The DCR framework reminds us to consider a range of perspectives related to environmental, social, economic and political aspects prompting deep engagement while encouraging the development of observation and questioning skills.  This process challenges our assumptions and stereotypes, while creating a space to listen to others’ viewpoints of the world.

‘Young children and global citizenship’ offers a range of ideas for developing the questioning and communication skills of children at KS1 and Early Years, including through the use of story, image and creating opportunities for them to learn from each other.

Exploring global learning

‘Global learning in primary schools’ shares ideas about global learning, proposes an entitlement for young people and is supported by a range of downloadable material which can be used in the classroom or with colleagues in a CPD session.  This includes a wealth of material on the development of speaking and listening skills, and the use of story and drama.